Why do we consume so much in the air? / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thought calories didn't count in the air? Think again

For most of us, all bets are off from the moment we check-in for a holiday as our beach-body diets are ditched in favour of well-deserved indulgence.

From the pre-flight beer and breakfast to free plane meals, snacks and booze, calorific excess seems like the perfect way to start your vacation - but do you know how much you’re really consuming?

You’re likely in for a shock because not only do we exceed our recommended daily intake, we pretty much double it with the average Brit consuming 3,400 calories from setting off to landing at their destination. 

Speaking to Business Insider, Professor Charles Spence, author of Gastrophysics, The New Science of Eating and lecturer at Oxford University, revealed why we tend to eat so much more in the air.

“When we fly, food tastes different, normally it doesn’t taste very good to most of us,” he says.

Aside from lowered cabin pressure and dried out nostrils, Spence says that the main reason behind on-board gluttony could be the sound of the engines.

“Loud engine sounds and other kinds of background noise wills suppress sweet and salty. 

“Because sound suppresses sweetness perception, you have to add about 15-20 per cent more sugar to the foods we eat while in the air to give the same taste perception,” he adds.

But aside from skipping plane food altogether ala Gordon Ramsay, what can you do to curb your cravings?

Well, according to Spence donning a pair of noise cancelling headphones could be the answer.

He says that this is probably one of the simplest ways to bring back the taste and flavour of food during your flight. 

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