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5 Tricks Restaurants Use to Make You Overeat

5 Tricks Restaurants Use to Make You Overeat

The drinks: with the music playing soft and slow and the dim lights lulling you into a mood of relaxation, a cocktail or three seem to be in order. The more you drink, the more you might end up eating, because alcohol is known to boost short-term appetite. That’s good news for the restaurant, but havoc for your calorie intake.

The words on their menu: creamy, Grandma’s, Homemade…these are all red flags, designed to seduce your senses by conjuring up images of comfort and satisfaction. The truth is, ‘creamy’ is an alias for ‘fat’, and that ‘grandma’s pie/tart’ is a sugar bomb!

The chill in there…notice how you often feel quite cold when you walk into a restaurant? Makes you want to wrap a blanket around yourself. Since you don’t have access to one, the next best thing? You order a warm, creamy soup! And hot fries. And hearty pasta…you get the idea. Perhaps it’s a good idea to carry a shawl or cardigan the next time you dine out.

The music: yes, we all know that restaurants and shops employ music as a cue to make you eat/spend more. But notice the kind of music that plays at your favorite eatery. Chances are, a beer bar will belt out fast, strong beats to encourage you to eat faster and move out quickly so that others can come in. A fine dining restaurant plays it soft and slow, to create a laid-back ambience that cajoles you to indulge.

The television: you might have noticed this at home as well: While watching your favorite soap on television, you tend to eat more than you intended to. The same thing happens when you eat out. That innocuous looking television screen, fixed strategically across from your table, urges you to guzzle and shovel more… Just a little bit more!

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Life, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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2:53AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014


2:51AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014


8:09PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

yeah, not true for me.

4:34AM PST on Dec 4, 2013

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

11:50AM PST on Dec 2, 2013

These don't work on me. If I'm going to eat out, I don't want to do so in a place that has a TV. Light music is okay, if it's too loud it makes me agitated. (The music was so loud in one place I actually forgot to eat until my husband asked me if I was finished). I order what I want. I don't eat desert. I expect to freeze my ass off in any kind of air conditioning, so bring a jacket. Also, being cold tends to make eat faster in order to leave faster.

7:02PM PST on Dec 1, 2013


3:34AM PST on Dec 1, 2013


1:23AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Thank you :)

7:11PM PST on Nov 30, 2013

Mind over matter.

5:19PM PST on Nov 28, 2013

These tricks don't work on me. I'm sure they don't work on many others either. Most of us choose a restaurant that serves the type of food we are hungry for and we usually know ahead of time just what we plan to order. We will take our time to enjoy conversation with whoever we're with and have a leisurely meal. Music is always nice (better than a TV) as long as it's soft music. I enjoy the food at Texas Roadhouse but the loud music is annoying.

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I've been enjoying rice milk, then later oat milk on my muesli for a few years now

Just awful!! Thanks Annie.

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