If you've ever wished for an incredibly easy way to eat healthier that doesn't leave you feeling deprived of all the things you love, science may just have the answer.
According to researchers at both the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and Carnegie Mellon University, ordering your takeout or delivery a solid hour before mealtime lends itself to making better choices.
While two of the experiments performed in the studies did zone in on lunch orders, the third looked at catered lunch options. In each of the instances, if a participant had just minutes to make a decision about what to order, those chose a decidedly less healthy option. It makes sense, right? I know when I'm really hungry I want to go with something that's comforting, quick, and, more often than not, fattening. When I'm not as hungry I'm more likely to opt for a meal that's a wiser choice because I'm not feeling so desperate to be full.
In a press release about the studies, lead author Eric M. VnEpps, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, said this: The implication is that restaurants and other food providers can generate health benefits for their customers by offering the opportunity to place advance orders."
So there you have it—don't feel shy about thinking of your next meal earlier than usual. It may just save you empty calories and a whole lot of grief.