What you hear can influence how much you eat (a fact restaurant owners use to promote customer turnover). In the 1980s, Ronald Milliman, PhD, a marketing professor at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, found that brisk songs (92 or more beats a minute) caused diners to eat 20 percent faster than when they listened to slower music (72 or fewer beats a minute)—U2 versus Enya, for instance. The connection isn't as surprising as you might think, says psychoacoustic specialist Joshua Leeds, who studies how sound affects the nervous system. "All the major body pulses—your heart rate, breath, brain waves—will speed up or slow down to match an external periodic rhythm." Eating too quickly gives your body less time to register that you're full, so trade the mealtime rockfest for Brahms or Norah Jones. You may not even notice that your fork is working half-time.
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.