If your goal is to eat less, you've probably read about how you should eat off smaller plates and pulverize your food to mush before you swallow it. Now new science suggests that decreasing your intake could be as simple as listening to yourself eat.
When researchers from Brigham Young and Colorado State Universities asked 182 undergrads to eat cookies as loudly as possible, as quietly as possible, or normally, the loud eaters ate significantly less than the other groups. But even people who ate extra quietly ate less than those instructed to eat normally. The authors think it's because these exercises made people eat more mindfully, which enhances all the senses so every bite seems that much more satisfying. The outcome? You actually feel content before you reach the bottom of the bowl.
The study was tweaked and repeated using pretzels and pita chips, and different strategies designed to help participants focus on the sound of eating. Across the board, the more people listened to the sound of their food, the less they ate.
"Consumers who are distracted, or who are in the presence of environmental cues that mask intrinsic food sound, may inadvertently suppress an important consumption monitoring cue," the researchers warn in their study, which was published in the journal Food Quality and Preference.
Simply put: Focus on the sound of yourself chewing and you may curb your appetite once and for all.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.