Secrets About Eating Out

Menu-cover-design-51. Menu design. Our eyes have a natural tendency to look at the right side of the menu first, so restaurants usually listtheir most expensive dishes in that area. Some restaurants put their most expensive items at the top of the menu, so other items will look more reasonably priced. Shaded boxes and borders around menu items also attract hungry patrons and can increase sales.

2. Seating. When you’re seated, you may find yourself in the awkward middle of the dining room, or perched in uncomfortable chairs. Both of these maneuvers are likely to make you want to shovel in your food more quickly, eating more calories as you go. Remember, if the hostess leads you to a table you’re sure you won’t enjoy – such as one next to the restroom, for example – it’ OK to request a better location and take your time eating in comfort.

3. They turn up the volume. You know how you practically have to shout at some restaurants in order to have a conversation? It’s not because the restaurant owners just happen to love music. Studies show the louder the tunes, the more quickly you’ll eat – and the sooner you’ll leave. That means a faster turnover and a higher profit for the restaurant. While you may not even notice how quickly you’re throwing back that burger, your belly will suffer. It takes 20 minutes for the “I’m full” signal to get from your stomach to your brain, so those loud tunes mean you’re more likely to end up overstuffed.

4. They get you to drink. Restaurants like to serve you cocktails before you even crack open your menu. Why? Because alcohol stimulates your appetite. Get your drink on before you order, and you’re more likely to end up ordering more and probably less-healthy food to quiet your now-growling stomach.

Source:  The Digest Diet by Liz Vaccariello, Reader’s Digest’s editor-in-chief

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