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Turn off the lights to lose weight!

Yes, you heard it! Switching off the lights while eating helps you shed weight. A new study has revealed that our sense of feeling satiated is linked to what and how much we are eating.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 28, 2010 09:27 IST

Yes, you heard it! If you really want to eat lesser and lose weight, try switching off the lights and eating. A new study has revealed that our sense of feeling satiated has a lot to do with us seeing what and how much we are eating, perhaps even more than our stomach!

A Swiss psychologist Benjamin Scheibehenne, decided to test the sensory experience of eating by having 64 participants dine in a pitch-black restaurant; they were then offered skewered fruit sticks for dessert. One group got normal-size portions, the other got supersize servings.

Waiters in darkWhat he found is that your body has a hard time knowing how much you've eaten if you can't see it. Later, the diners were asked how much they had eaten and how full they were, reported the Scientific American.

Then, the same procedure was repeated but in an illuminated room this time. And it was found that the diners with regular portions ate an average of eight sticks; in the light, they ate 12. The experiment revealed that those who ate in the dark, naturally, found it difficult to estimate how much they had eaten but were not even able to decide if they were full or not!

Incidentally, the idea for this study came to psychologist Scheibehenne when he went to dine at a 'dark restaurant' where visually impaired waiters serve customers in a complete blackout atmosphere, 'to enhance the sensory experience of dining'. When Scheibehenne and his wife walked out from the restaurant, they couldn't decide whether they wanted to have dessert or not.

So, if you want to stop overeating, make sure you turn off the lights!