The latest trend for social media posts includes millions of snapshots of picture-perfect plates of food. These photographs fall into two categories: 1) Depicting beautiful restaurant presentations for sensory appeal and 2) Showcasing healthy food from those people who want to be members of the- eat- clean community. So is this trend a form of free advertising for restaurants or actually a strategy for consumers to lose weight?
Intrigued by this new social norm and its impact, Sean Coary Ph.D, assistant professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and Morgan Poor Ph.D, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Sand Diego are researching the impact of consumer-generated images of food on satisfaction and eating habits. “When we take a photo of something before eating, we create a momentary but intentional delay in consumption, allowing all of the senses to be engaged and building the anticipation of enjoyment,” says Coary.
Obviously, the photos provide great advertising for restaurants. However, there are also hidden weight loss benefits. Consider that this research uses the key words, “delay in consumption,” which means that eating is slowed down. Instead of devouring the food immediately, you postpone eating by taking a photograph of the food. You study the plate, and shoot the photo from the best angle and then most likely reshoot until you get the plate to look tantalizing. By staging your shot, you devour the food with your eyes and savor the moment filling up on the creative process. By now you know that when you eat more slowly and mindfully to really taste your food, you don’t eat as much and feel full by the time you finish. Besides, fancy presentations tend to consist of smaller servings of protein while using more colorful vegetables and herbs – hence fewer calories.
And when you display your own healthy food plate on social media, you show others that you are fit and committed to a healthy diet, sending the message that you are holding yourself accountable to all the health conscious people out there. Your photograph becomes a solid strategy to stay on track with a healthy meal plan.
Staging a picture perfect-plate:
- Use a rainbow array of fruits and vegetables
- Take a class in foodography to learn how to get the best angle and lighting for your food photograph
- Use berries for their color, shape and design-potential
- Visit Pinterest to get ideas for great food shots
For more info on healthy living visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com