Research suggests that cutting up food into smaller pieces may help with weight loss, because people are more satisfied by eating lots of little portions rather than one big portion. Well…yeah. Devina Wadhera, from the psychology department at Arizona State University, said:
Cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control.
During the study, researchers gave 301 college students a bagel, either unsliced or sliced into four pieces. Then, the students were invited to a free lunch to eat as much as they wanted. The students who were given the unsliced bagel ate more at the free lunch than the students who had the bagel in four slices. The study authors hypothesize that this means people may feel more satisfied after eating food that is cut into smaller pieces, rather than eating food in one large piece.
This information doesn’t really seem that new to me, though; I think I’ve read it in every single women’s magazine that offers weight loss advice. Cut your food up smaller! Be aware of portion sizes! Your eyes are bigger than your stomach! I mean, larger portions generally cause people to eat more, so smaller portions generally cause people to eat less. To some extent this seems like common sense, until you consider the out-of-control portion sizes Americans are used to; our brains are becoming conditioned to accept large portions as normal. But according to the psychological experts who ran this ASU study, if we see a larger amount of pieces of food, human brains tend to think it’s a larger portion (regardless of whether or not the calories are the same). So, in other words, you’ll be mentally more satisfied by eating lots of tiny pieces of steak, rather than one big-ass T-bone.
While it’s pretty obvious information (at least in my mind), I’m glad to know that science is now supporting one of the larger tenets of weight-loss wisdom. If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, you may just want to start cutting your meals up into Polly Pocket-size pieces, because it could help melt the pounds off.
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