Embrace the audio factor for a healthy weight and happier lifestyle. Life is a sensory experience and as much as we might think that we have complete control over what we do, the truth is that everything around us impacts our moods and the signals that our brains receive making it easier or harder for us to be able to achieve the goals that we have consciously set. As obesity has become a growing concern in our society, science has started to place its focus on a broadening range of influences and sensory exposures to help to encourage better and healthier habits and faster results in the weight loss efforts that dieters make.
For instance, a recent study, researchers Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert Van Ittersum looked into the impact that atmosphere has on the way that people eat. They used the fast food dining atmosphere as their environment of choice to find out what would happen if they changed a visual or audio factor such as lighting and music.
After all, there is notable difference between the experience of eating somewhere that is quiet with gentle ambient music in the background and with soft lighting, and a place that is filled with noise, loud heavy metal music, and bright fluorescent lights.
The researchers felt that by changing the atmosphere it could actually change the habits of the eaters. What they expected was that by playing relaxing music, people would stick around in the restaurants longer because they wouldn’t be as rushed to eat. Therefore, they also believed that people would order more food than those who were eating in a more traditional fast food environment.
However, this was not the case! What they found was that people who ate in an atmosphere where gentle, calming music was playing ate more slowly and – surprisingly – consumed less food than the people in the traditional fast food atmosphere . They were also no more likely to get up and order more food than the people who were eating in the fast food music and lighting.
This suggests that if you want to encourage yourself to follow one of the top tips for weight loss, which is to slow down and enjoy your food instead of wolfing it down, then you might want to try listening to some relaxing music while you eat as your audio factor of choice. Play a soothing radio station or listen to your favorite calming tunes. It will stop you from rushing through your meal, allowing the sensation of being “full” to catch up before you eat more food.
As an added audio factor benefit, the researchers also found that the people who listened to the calming music enjoyed the taste of the food more. This is always a plus when you’re trying to shed the pounds!