Professor Charles Spence, author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, says that lower air pressure, dry cabin air and loud engine noise affects our ability to properly taste food.
“[Therefore] the food we consume needs 20-30 per cent more sugar and salt to make it taste like it would on the ground,” Spence told Telegraph Travel.
So even if you choose the vegetable stir fry over the bolognese, it’s likely you’re still consuming more calories than usual.
In fact, it might be almost double the recommended daily intake.
Professor Spence cites research that suggests the average Briton chows down on more than 3,400 calories before they’ve reached their destination.
He says that boredom also plays a significant role in how much we eat on board.
“With nothing else to do, food becomes an appealing distraction. And when it is being offered for free it will be even harder to resist,” Spence told Telegraph Travel.
But if you want to maintain your healthy eating habits on route to your R and R there are a few things you can do. Nutritional Medicine Practitioner Fiona Tuck recommends ordering a protein or vegetable based main and steering clear of refined cards like breads and pastas as these can contribute to bloating and fluid retention on a long haul flight.
“Stay away from the salty, dry snack foods and alcohol which can worsen the effects of dehydration when flying,” Tuck says.
And don't be afraid to BYO.
“I always carry a big bottle of water and a couple of pieces of fruit so I have healthy snack options and stay well hydrated during the flight.”