Which foods are easiest to overeat? A recent study investigated exactly that. They found the main food characteristics that encourage you to eat more food than some African people eat in a lifetime.

Here are three things that were highly associated with an increased risk of oh god I once again ate myself silly (and what to do about them to make dieting and thus weight loss easier).

#1. Energy density

Unsurprisingly, foods that contain more calories per gram lead to passing out from a food coma aka calorie overconsumption. Here are some examples:

Granola Nut butter Dark Choc. Raisins

These calorie-dense foods will likely leave you feeling less full while consuming more calories:

Potato vs chips

So base most of your diet on foods with a lower caloric cost. Veggies, fruits, and lean protein sources are champions at this.

#2. Hyper-palatability

Foods that contain combinations of fat, sugar, and sodium tend to taste fugging delicious and you tend to want to eat more of it.

To put into perspective, cast your mind to the post in which I said that in one study, subjects ate on average 508 kcal/day more during the ultra-processed, hyper-palatable diet.

Since hyper-palatable foods usually overlap with foods that have high-calorie density and low volume, you end up being unsatisfied and ready to keep eating like an asshole.

So to make your dietary adherence and calorie management easier, limit hyper-palatable foods and consume more lower-palatable ones:

Food Palatability Index

#3. Eating rate

Foods that are easier to consume quickly are easier to overeat. You don’t need to have an IQ of a Japanese person to understand that. Heck, not even IQ that’s normally found in farmyard animals. But here’s the deal: I don’t think eating rate per se is the problem.

You could say that the quick eating rate is the result of distracted eating. Eating while watching TV, watching dancing puppies on TikTok, and working on your laptop, is the real problem.

When you’re doing something while eating, you’re less aware of your internal hunger and satiety cues. This leads to a higher total calorie intake. Or in scientific terms, let’s see how many Oreos can I fit in my mouth at once.

You eat more when you watch TV:

TVV increased caloric intake by 36% (one slice on average) for pizza and by 71% for M&C. Eating patterns also differed between conditions. Although the length of time to eat a slice of pizza remained stable between viewing conditions, the amount of time before starting another slice was shorter during TVV. In contrast, M&C was eaten at a faster rate and for a longer period of time during TVV.

You eat more when you listen to a podcast:

This study suggests that distraction could promote food intake in all non-clinical consumers, irrespective of individual differences in eating behaviours. Furthermore, it suggests that those with a high drive for thinness may overestimate intake when required to focus on their food.

The same happens when you’re busy watching those silly dancing puppies on social media…

Our review underlines that the use of mobile devices during meals interferes with eating behavior contributing to calorie increase in a segment of the population for which the international scientific community is particularly concerned.

…and eating while working on a computer:

These results suggest that eating while working affected satiety of normal weight participants, as indicated by the significant difference in post-meal satiety levels between work and control conditions.

And while distracted eating isn’t an issue for people who aren’t trying to lose weight (I usually eat while watching a TV show with my girlfriend), it’s a serious problem for those who want to manage calorie intake better and lose weight.

So ensure you’re mindful when you’re eating. When you eat, you do nothing but eat. Allow your brain to “register” the food intake.

The moral of the post: If you want to lose weight, increase satiety, and lower calorie intake, don’t eat like an asshole in front of a TV or phone. Cheers.

P.S. If you want to bypass all of the nonsensical weight loss information and avoid common beginner mistakes, apply for the 1:1 Coaching Program where my goal is to be at your side the entire way, helping you to avoid scams and pitfalls that most people fall into.

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Originally published by me on Medium on April 10, 2023

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