Seemingly minor food decisions – like where, when and how fast you eat – can be the culprits behind belly-blubber mayhem. Here's the diet disasters to look out for, and tackle before they sabotage your efforts.
1. THE TELEVISION EFFECT
Eat just two meals a week in front of the TV and you may pack on five kilograms in a year. The reason: the tube’s presence can bulk up your kilojoule intake by up to a thousand each time.
Listening to music: 2880kJ
In front of the TV: 3856kJ
Source: Physiology & Behaviour
2. THE COMPANION INFLUENCE
When you snack with a buddy, you’re likely to consume more biscuits or crackers than you would if you ate with a romantic partner.
Relationship effect on snacking +59%
With a partner: 44g
With a male friend: 70g
3. THE AUTOPILOT TRANCE
By being more aware of the number of food and drink decisions you make every day, you can become more vigilant about your food choices.
Daily food and drink decisions 16x
Number guessed: 14 decisions
Actual number: 227 decisions
Source: Environment and Behaviour
4. THE SPEED TRAP
Slow down! If you pound dinner quickly (in nine minutes, say), you'll eat more than guys who are dining at a more relaxed pace (22 minutes).
Timing effect on kilojoule consumption
Slow eating: 3220kJ
Fast fill-up: 3572kJ
Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
5. THE SUPERSIZE SABOTEUR
When you eat out of a larger container, you're likely to consume more, even if the actual amount of food is the same in both containers.
Serving size influence on M&M intake
Small bowl: 620kJ
Large bowl: 1416kJ