Clearing the Table
There is a reason the restaurant staff may be eager to take your plate once you’ve set your fork down. It turns out that clearing the table, along with any sign of what you’ve already eaten, may encourage you to order more. A study in Appetite, a journal that looks at consumer behavior toward food and beverages, showed that people consumed 22 percent fewer calories (in the form of pistachio nuts) when the shells were left in plain sight compared to when the empty shells were whisked away.
Study author and behavioral eating expert James Painter, Ph.D., attributes the differences to what a person can see. “When a person has visual cues of ‘leftovers,’ such as pistachio shells, they can see how many or how much they have eaten, helping to control portion size and consumption,” he said. While no one wants dirty dishes sitting on the table, it might not be a bad idea to keep them around, at least until you’ve ordered more (if you’re at a tapas place, for example) or asked for the check.
Read more: What’s Really Inside Your Movie Theater Popcorn?