Eat loudly, and lose weight?!
Brigham Young University researcher, Ryan Elder says it is not quite that easy, but his recent research is helping people digest a new concept when it comes to chowing down.
We have all heard those crunching, munching, inconsiderate eaters with little regard for people around them. But now, Elder and his research partner at Colorado State University say our full-mouthed friends may be onto something.
“We’re calling it the ‘crunch effect,’ because basically what we’re showing is that the sound that the food makes can impact your consumption quantity,” Elder said.
Turns out, people who hear themselves chowing down are more likely to eat less. In contrast, those who cannot hear themselves eat — due to TV, headphones, or other noises — tend to eat more. It is a concept Elder says is often understudied.
“Sound has been labeled as the forgotten flavor sense,” he said.
Elder and his partner conducted their study with a series of experiments. In one, participants would listen either to loud or quiet noise through headphones while they ate, and then researchers measured how much they consumed.
Elder found it is all about being mentally present, or mindful, while you are eating, especially for people looking to shed a few pounds.
“On its own, it’s not a diet strategy, but in addition to what you’re doing, it can kind of help get you into that habit of ‘I’m eating, I’m going to pay attention to what I’m eating, so that hopefully I’m going to eat less,'” Elder explained.