Valentine’s Day is a holiday reserved for celebrating love and those in your life whom you love and who make you feel loved. Millions of dollars are poured into the day year after year, and nearly 35 percent of people spend the holiday dining out. All of those chocolate truffles and bottles of wine add up, which is why Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab have revealed a few key tricks to enjoying the day without expending a day’s worth of calories .

“If your waitress is heavy you are two to three times more likely to eat more dessert and alcohol,” the director of the Food and Brand Lab Brian Wansink said in a press conference with Medical Daily. “What’s going on right there is a licensing effect. You think ‘I wouldn’t mind being five pounds lighter’ but then compare yourself to the waiter, which makes you think you’re doing pretty well and can order that extra glass of wine.”

Wansink advises Valentine’s Day patrons to ask the server for two or three “light” menu recommendations even before they scour the menu. But don’t ask for the healthiest menu items, because most waiters will quickly gravitate towards salads, which could leave you feeling limited on your special day.

The Food and Brand Lab recently finished visiting 27 restaurants across the country. They observed how people ate and if there were any environmental cues that encouraged patrons to eat more overall or more or less of a specific item on the menu. They found people sitting farthest from the front door were less likely to eat salad. Those same patrons were 73 percent more likely to order dessert than were those sitting closer to the front door.

Next, they found people sitting within two tables of the bar drank an average of three more beers or mixed drinks compared with those sitting only one table farther away. If there’s a television in the restaurant, those who sit closest to it are known to order more fried foods. Meanwhile, because they felt as if they were on display, people sitting at high-top bar tables were conscientious of what they ate, ordering more salads and fewer desserts than those around them. Dimmed lights were found to give patrons the illusion that they were invisible and welcome to eat a greater quantity of food.

Wansink recommends keeping a few key tricks in mind before walking into the restaurant with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Because where you sit in a restaurant has the potential to influence how much you eat and what you order, try to sit far away from the kitchen or bar in a well-lighted area, near windows, far from television sets, and — if given the option — sit at an elevated table. If you think the entire experience is likely to overwhelm the senses and cause you to eat to your heart’s desire, stay at home and cook.