Deciding on dessert first can lead to a healthier meal, according to new research.
For the study, participants got on a cafeteria-style line that offered dessert either at the beginning or the end. People who chose their treat first were twice as likely to eat a lighter main dish compared to those who did so after plating the rest of their meal.
When you know ahead of time that you’re going to indulge after dinner (or better yet, after lunch), you’ll be more inclined to take the necessary steps to avoid overeating, says Jonathan Dick, Equinox’s London-based nutrition education lead, Tier X coach, and master instructor at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute.
Choose your last course first and you'll make smarter choices for the rest of your meal. This is true more so if you opt for a rich dessert rather than a “healthy” one. In the study, people who planned on eating cheesecake consumed 30 percent fewer calories overall (including the slice) than those who picked a fruit salad did.