When it comes to slimming down, many of the emphasis is put on how to make any food taste great – even if it’s certainly not what comes to mind whenever you think about what’s delicious. It seems sensible: You’re more prone to stick to an eating plan change if you aren’t dreading it, right? However, studies have found as time has gone with that good-tasting food isn’t the one thing that may help with weight loss; food texture matters too.

This means it’s smart to combine what’s known as the “mouthfeel” from the food you’re eating, like eating a combination of foods that are soft, hard, smooth and crunchy. However, not every textures are the same when it comes to weight reduction.

A popular study that came out a few years ago within the Journal of Consumer Research had participants eat brownies (yum!) of various textures. They found that people tended to consider that softer, smoother foods had a higher number of calories versus harder, crunchier foods. Quite simply, people believed these hard, crunchy samples were somehow “healthier,” even if they actually were. While scientists continue to be piecing together the psychology of food texture, there might be a connection between the fact that many of the healthiest foods we are able to eat, like many fruits and veggies, often have a crunchy component, and that we begin to mentally categorize all foods like that.

But this research is just the tip of the iceberg. Building with that, a current 2021 overview taking a look at 29 different weight loss studies also surmised those meals texture may be why liquid fasts and similar diets in which you eat foods that “feel” the same are harder to stick to. Furthermore they have some calorie deficits, which deplete your energy, but your body also gets bored from eating the foods with the same mouthfeel, even if the dishes themselves taste completely different.