Never Eat with Loud Music Plus Other Dieting Traps You Need to Know

Mar 30, 2016 04:37 AM EDT | By Mark Jason Alcala

Esteban Cortezar Dinner Party
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: (TABS OUT) Designer Esteban Cortezar and friends enjoy dinner at Asia De Cuba at Ian Schrager's Morgan's Hotel during Olympus Fashion Week February 10, 2004 in New York City.
(Photo : Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)

There are certain things in life that may sound absurd at first but are actually logical and work. Although these four situations are not totally avoidable, it is important to know their peculiar effects on one's appetite and, hopefully, one enters these scenarios better prepared.

Compiled by Anna Almendrala and appearing in her article for Huffington Post, here are the four situations and their effects on one's appetite:

1.Larger plates will cause one to eat more.

There is actually a 2013 study that established this finding. The researchers concluded that children consumed almost 50% more calories if they were served larger plates and bowls. And the reverse also seems to be true. According to an article by David Friedlander writing for Life Edited, smaller plates general tend to result in smaller appetites as well.

And if one is really that meticulous about plate matters, Cornell University came up with a study that concluded the color of one's plate may affect how much one eats. According to Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert van Ittersum, it is not the color of the plate but the color contrast between the food and the plate that creates an optical illusion named as Delboeuf illusion. It's a little too complicated but thankfully Margaret Sullivan, the writer of the study's summary described it this way.

 If one wants to eat less, the plate to be used must offer a high contrast to what is being served. If one wants to eat more veggies, then they would best be served on green plates.

2.Altitude could affect the tongue's ability to taste.

Most people don't travel in airplanes daily but this info should come in handy. Almendrala cites a Lufthansa-commissioned 2010 study that concluded a 20 to 30 percent decrease in saltiness perception and a 15 to 20 percent decrease in sweet perception when one is in air. This is explained by the swelling of the mucus membranes in high-altitude, dry, pressurized air situation.

Airlines might try to get around this taste perception problem by making their meals saltier and sweeter, a disastrous combination. Almendrala suggests one to plan meals beforehand to lessen the likelihood of airline food consumption. In addition, one could always pack a healthy treat or two.

3.Loud music makes one eat faster.

It seems that one's bites wants to groove to the music as well. Almendrala cites a 1980's study that shows people tend to eat faster the louder the music gets.

Eating slowly, on the other hand, has been shown to have a positive effect when one is trying to control eating portions. According to a Dr. Mercola article, eating slowly and chewing mindfully can make one eat less that it can be an effective tool in weight control. Longer chewing of food seems to release appetite-regulating hormones that prompt one to stop eating.

4.Group eating can encourage one to eat more.

Apparently, the more people one eats with, the bigger one's intake for that meal would most likely be. How big exactly? Just around 33 percent more if one eats with someone, around 47 percent more if a group of three is eating, 58 percent more for a group of 4, 69 percent more for 5 persons eating together, 70 percent more for a group of 6, 72 percent for a lively group of 7 until one reaches the ceiling of 96 percent more food intake in a crowd. For this figures, Armadale cites a study by John M de Castro from Georgia State University back in 2000.

The dramatic increase in consumption is due to the tendency for one to mimic the group's eating style, matching the number of bites of one's companions especially in the early part of the meal.

So is it best to eat alone and in total silence then? Almendrala doesn't recommend it saying eating with family and friends should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

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