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A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living: Sight

To do something sensibly means taking a rational and practical approach to a situation. Making this move requires information. However, where can you get the facts you need to be sensible? The answer lies in our senses.

hands taking slices of pizza

When asked how many senses there are, most will answer, “Five.” Touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste are the standards. However, depending on where you do your research, the number of senses can range from five to twenty-one. How can this make any sense?

I’ve settled on eighteen human senses I believe can sensibly help us on a journey to a healthy lifestyle.

The first sense to explore is sight. This may be one of the most important senses. We get much of our information from our eyes. How we see things shapes our perceptions, but we can sometimes be deceived.

A sensible question to ponder is why “our eyes seem bigger than our stomachs.” Is it because we’re fooled when it comes to portions? Studies have shown that it’s difficult to judge amounts of food if it’s portioned in wedge shapes. I think about the foods I struggle with: cake, pies, and pizza (all served in wedge portions). I would have my pizza cut into six slices because eight seemed too much — does that make sense? In addition, how foods are presented may trigger the urge to have more than what’s needed to sustain a healthy diet. There have been many times when I either ordered or served myself too much food.

In order to start and sustain my journey, I needed to adjust my sights and refocus. Harry Houdini once said, “What the eyes see … the mind believes,” and “Expect nothing, and see everything.” What I needed was the best trick of all times: Fool my mind (and stomach) that less is more. That’s what I did.

I started to put items on smaller plates so they looked bigger. I started to measure foods to train my mind on what was a sensible portion, comparing it to sizes of items I could better visualize. I walked the buffet line with no plate in hand until I fully saw what was available, and then I would grab a small plate to make the walk again.

Pay close attention to the sense of sight. I encourage you to retrain your mind and believe what you see.


This is part 1 of the multipart series, “A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living.” In my next blog, we’ll look to the human sense of proprioception.

Missed the beginning of our journey through the human senses? Check out the rest of A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living.


5 thoughts on “A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living: Sight

  1. Hi Rick. Just discovered your comments and really enjoy them, they also provide articles to discuss at meetings. Thanks

  2. Smaller plates, do make a difference in how you view the portion of food on the plate. it’s true.

  3. I enjoyed this and planning on using it for a program. We do a positive challenge each week. I will challenge the members to measure any food they eat that week that is not already in a one serving portion!

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