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Written by The Nutrition Twins
Last night we had dinner with one of our closest friends. Every time we are with her we are reminded of how one should eat their food, not only from an etiquette standpoint, but also from a weight loss one. For starters, our friend places her fork down on her plate after every bite, never speaks a peep even with the tiniest of morsels in her mouth, and chews each bite of food very thoroughly. These techniques are not only polite but inevitably make you eat slowly. People who eat quickly tend to be heavier because they are prone to overeat as it takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal that the body was fed—and let’s face it, a lot of overeating can happen in twenty minutes. Another good habit our friend has—she cuts her food into bite sized pieces before she even takes a bite of her meal. We’re not sure if this is an etiquette thing, but from a weight loss perspective, new research has revealed that she may just be on to something.
Apparently, when food is cut and served in small pieces we feel full faster and eat less later. For example, college students in the study who were offered a whole bagel covered with cream cheese ate more later in the day then the group that was offered the same kind of bagel, cut into four pieces and covered with the same amount of cream cheese. And the students who were offered a whole bagel ate a little bit more of it, as well.
Researchers are trying to figure out exactly why this may be but they theorize that “perhaps cutting up foods into multiple, bite-sized pieces may perceptually look like more and therefore elicit greater satiation than a single-piece food portion.”
While more research is being done, you can test to see if this good-etiquette method helps you to feel fuller and to eat less. Personally, for years we’ve noticed that this is the case for us when we eat a chopped salad versus a regular salad. It looks like more, takes longer to eat and we feel fuller and eat less later. You can test it with the chopped salad also, or try these other smaller bite alternatives:
1) Just like when you were a kid, cut your sandwiches into quarters, rather than in half.
2) If you’re eating lasagna, quiche or a casserole, cut each piece up into little squares before eating it.
3) Instead of cutting your burrito or your wrap as you eat it, cut the entire burrito up before eating your first bite.
4) At a pasta dinner? Cut up all of the pasta, including the protein and veggies that it’s filled with.
5) Eating an apple or orange? Slice it up into several pieces to eat it. Ditto for berries, melon and other fruits.
6) Treating yourself to a piece of cake or cookie? Cut it into several pieces before diving in. Who knows, you may just have one or two small pieces.
Are you trying to cut calories? What are you going to cut into smaller pieces in an attempt to save your waistline? Do you think this method will work for you?
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