Even though it is often during the self-deprivation phase that fatty food seems most appetising, if you are similar to most people, the last thing you would think while you are on a diet is choosing a high-calorie manner to finish your meal. What if, though, you choose that piece of cake from the buffet table before choosing your entrée? Can the paradoxical action of selecting a heavy item first actually aid in weight loss? Unbelievable as it may seem, recent study indicates that the possibility of a positive response exists.

The Arrangement of Ordering

The majority of meals don’t include a single item. They include a number of things. A starter, a side dish, a drink, and dessert. It turns out that while making these decisions, how you order is just as crucial as what you get. In a series of trials, David Flores et al. (2019) discovered that the sequence of meal presentations and indulgence combine to affect intake. They discovered that consumers tend to be affected by the item they notice first while making food selections sequentially, such as during a buffet line or when purchasing online. Their first choice, which usually serves as the foundation for the rest of their order, is crucial.

Diners were more inclined to choose lower-calorie selections after choosing an indulgent dish in their first trial, which was conducted in a cafeteria. The outcome? Consequently, they actually ingested less calories. This phenomena also applied to online food delivery. The subsequent options were more likely to contain more calories when the initial one was a healthy one. The entire calorie count was more than it would have been if the supper had started with indulgence, notwithstanding the first wise choice.

How many calories were saved? There were 496 calories in the dinner with the decadent dessert and nutritious main course and side dish, as opposed to 865 calories in the dinner with the healthier dessert and extravagant main course.

Permission to Have Fun

If we make a healthy decision initially, we are free to make an indulgent decision afterwards. This licence is said to have “expired” when dessert is selected first. When making the remainder of their meal choices, picking a high-calorie food first seemed to “guide individuals to place the foot on the brakes a little”. Dessert lovers may be happy to hear about this study. But heed this warning: when you are really at the breakfast buffet, try not to worry too much about this phenomena (or otherwise). Because Flores et al. discovered that the impact was negated under high cognitive load experimental conditions, an indulgent initial choice was probably going to be followed by further high-calorie choices.


Whatever the arrangement, the authors acknowledge that with combo-meals categorization is a problem that merits more investigation. When healthy and decadent components are combined in a meal, diners may perceive the dish as healthy, which stimulates further indulgence. Therefore, if you are persistent enough to start strong with your meal selection order, keep in mind not to overcompensate. Healthy routines will guarantee that you finish strong as well. Order that chocolate cake before your Caesar salad.