Bright Lights Have This Surprising Effect on Your Food Choices
There’s nothing better than spicing up date night with a rezzie at a dimly lit restaurant, candles casting a soft glow and your sweetie across the table. That is, of course, unless you’re trying to make healthy food choices. Then, that lovely dim lighting can quickly become your worst enemy. While dim lighting may cause you to eat more slowly (and thus eat less), it also causes you to make poor decisions when it comes to the health and nutrition of your food choices. There’s a glass-half-full way to look at that fact. A new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research shows that diners are 16-24 percent more likely to order healthy at brightly lit restaurants.
To collect the data for the study, researchers surveyed 160 restaurant patrons at four different chain restaurant locations. Half of the diners were seated in brightly lit rooms and consistently ordered healthy options like grilled fish, fresh veggies and white meat. Those who were seated in dim rooms ended up ordering more fried foods and desserts. In fact, they ended up ordering 39 percent more calories total!
The reason why is quite simple: “We feel more alert in brighter rooms and therefore tend to make more healthful, forward-thinking decisions,” explains the study’s lead author Dipayan Biswas, PhD, from the University of South Florida. The team confirmed this by giving a follow-up group (700 students in total) seated in a dimly lit room caffeine placebos and alertness prompts. The results were the same as the first bright room diners: They also chose healthy foods off the menu.
So whether you’re eating at a spot that forces you to put on your shades or makes you bust out your reading specs, the best thing you can do for your health is remain alert and stay focused on making healthy options for your meal. Unless you’re totally alert when you’re ordering that brownie. All in moderation, right?
Do you find yourself ordering healthier options at well-lit restaurants? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know what you think!
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.