Why Eating Popcorn With Chopsticks May Actually Make It Taste Better

Everyone is familiar with those serotonin-inducing moments in your life when you take the first bite of your favorite food or the first sip of an extra cold glass of water. It's a magical sensation to be sure, but when we get into these habits of eating the same way, drinking the same things, walking the same walk, and talking the same talk over and over again, it becomes monotonous and you don't receive that same joyous sensation that you did initially.

At this point, something interesting begins to happen to our brains: a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. According to Psychology Today, the idea of this process is that we will eventually drift into boredom with things that once gave us a boost of happiness.

There is a way, however, to combat hedonic adaptation and take back the enjoyment of your once-favorite things. For instance, if you begin eating popcorn in a different way, perhaps with chopsticks, your love for the sweet and salty treat just might be reignited.

How to enhance the monotonous

According to the Washington Post, studies have found that consuming the foods that you've grown bored of in ways you aren't accustomed to, such as eating popcorn with chopsticks, can enhance the excitement of the experience. They gave 68 participants popcorn, half of which were instructed to eat them with chopsticks and the rest without. The participants who ate with chopsticks focused more intensely on the food, and found significantly more enjoyment in the process. Similarly in the same study, it was found that individuals who consumed water in an unconventional way, such as drinking it out of a martini glass or a travel mug, found increasingly more enjoyment through each sip. 

A similar study was conducted by a member of University of Chicago's School of Business in which the half of participants who ate popcorn with chopsticks rated their enjoyment at a much higher level than the other half of participants, according to Food Network. This technique goes for other methods of eating as well. Finding an alternative form of eating pizza, like folding it or eating it backwards, can increase your feelings of excitement towards the process.

All this being said, if you've found monotony in your eating habits, try incorporating chopsticks or something of the sort into the mix.