Apparently, simply sitting down to eat your meal could keep you fuller and more satisfied well after you’ve finished eating. A newly released study suggests that our busy, on-the-go lifestyles could be sabotaging our attempts not to overeat — and that the decline of the sit-down family meal could be to blame for late-night cravings.
Researchers grouped teams of women, having one team eat a pasta dinner while standing and another eat the same carb-filled meal sitting down. After they’d been given time to digest, the women were presented with an array of tempting snack foods — we’re talking M&M’s, animal crackers, cheesy chips… (Seriously, where can we sign up to participate in this study?) Researchers then recorded how much they ate.
Those who ate their dinner standing found themselves grabbing more and more handfuls of snack food later. These results controlled for the participants’ body mass index (BMI), how much they had eaten prior to the study, the timing of their last meal, and even their history of dieting.
The correlation was clear: When they didn’t sit down for a proper meal, the participants didn’t feel as satisfied by their dinner. If you grab a burger on your walk home from work, or stand at your kitchen counter munching while the kids eat, you’re setting yourself up for some killer late-night cravings later.