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Why Ambiance Is Just As Important As The Nutrients On Your Plate

There’s that indescribable feeling when you walk into a place, look around at the decor, feel the music, take a deep breath of… ah yes, salted lavender… and know that this place gets it.

Ambiance is that special something that draws you to a physical place the same way someone's aura pulls you in energetically - it can not be measured or defined. Technically speaking, ambiance is the environmental stimuli that includes everything from temperature and smell to the presence of other people.

We are big believes in ambiance and dedicate time to curate beautiful spaces in our homes and offices that lift our moods, boost productivity and set the scene to build the rest of our lives. Hello, Homebase. This isn’t all in our heads though — science backs up the importance of ambiance, especially when it comes to eating. 

Scientists who have tested these theories found that a better environment leads to more mindful eating, which leads to slower eating, more chewing, and overall less consumption. Yes please! 

This, however, is no new discovery. The New York Times ran an article “Ambiance of Eating: What Is Its Role?” in 1982, which can quickly be summed up with one line: “Where one eats can be as important as what is eaten.”

A group of researchers interested in the relationship between ambaince and eating habits transformed a Hardee’s restaurant into a fine dining experience with dimmed lights, jazz music and set tables on top of linens. This was a huge constrast to other Hardee's, which are easily identified by bright lights, loud music, and uncomfortable seats.

The results of the different environments were obvious.

“Diners ordered a similar amount of food, but [those set in a better ambiance] ate more slowly and left more on their plates. Loud music and bright lights accelerated one’s food consumption, and soft music and soft lights decelerated consumption. Even when people stayed longer, they ate less,” explains Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University.

This is some serious food for thought for you, lovely Sakaralite. Next time you cook dinner, or choose a restaurant, pay as much attention to the surroundings of your meal as the meal itself. A calm, even attractive, environment will give your body the safety it needs to eat just enough to nourish your soul without weighing you down.

*Image via Design Love Fest here

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