5 surprising factors that can influence your appetite

5 Surprising Factors That Can Influence Your Appetite
5 Surprising Factors That Can Influence Your Appetite

Hunger is without question a strong motivation to eat, but it is not the only force that determines how much food a person takes in.

Recently, some expert guests on NPR's Hidden Brain revealed often unnoticed influences on our consumption habits.

Here are 5 of them:

Number 5. Size perception. Experiments show that when food, like pizza, is cut into smaller pieces, people think they're eating more than they really are.

Number 4. Dining Companions. People breaking bread with women, be they male or female themselves, tend to eat more than those in the company of a man.

Number 3. Breakfast. A study involving a group of overweight women showed that it's not just how many calories one consumes, but when they do it. Participants who used up more of their daily caloric allowance at breakfast instead of dinner lost roughly double the weight.

Number 2. Larger waitstaff. Diners order and eat more food when the person selling and serving it to them tips towards the heavier end of the scale. In an assessment of 500 dining experiences, researchers also found patrons being tended to by weightier individuals ordered dessert 4 times more often.

Number 1. Cheating. As long as a day of reprieve from dieting is planned and only occasional, studies show it does not adversely affect overall weight loss. It may even help, as those who scheduled in an indulgence proved to be happier, which may be a big boost to dieting endurance.

Related: Check out Americans' favorite comfort foods: