Do you truly enjoy the taste of certain foods yet feel guilty eating them because of the caloric intake involved? Many people fall into this category and therefore only eat fast foods and meals like that as their weekly cheat meal. But, even if it were only your cheat meal, wouldn’t you love to find a way to eat fewer calories and enjoy it more? Some may think it’s a dream, but recent research would suggest otherwise.
According to a study published in the August 2012 issue of the journal Psychological Reports, this dream has become a reality. How? Brian Wansink, Ph.D. of Cornell University and Koert van Ittersum, Ph.D. of the Georgia Institute of Technology recently conducted a study at a fast food restaurant where they changed the in-restaurant dining experience by softening the music and lighting. The longstanding belief is that by making the dining experience more relaxed, people would likely spend longer in the restaurant and eat more. However, with these simple changes of ambience, they discovered that while patrons purchased just as much food, the amount they consumed was reduced by on average more than 170 calories or about 18%. It was also revealed that customers ate at a slower pace and found their meals more enjoyable.
As a result, it would stand to reason that if you’re looking for ways to reduce your caloric intake at home, work, or in a restaurant setting, try finding a more relaxed spot. Even if it doesn’t exactly follow the results of this study, it’s certainly an option worth exploring. And, if it does work as well as the study, your taste buds and waistline will thank you.