How to eat less?


many people are asking this question. At a party, at dinner parties or at restaurants, they note that they eat more. New research has led scientists to an interesting conclusion:

if it is possible to take part of the half-eaten portion with you, the person eats less.

A study of serving size and eating habits

Experiments have shown that when people are served large portions, they eat more. Nevertheless, both men and women often lose sight of what they ate more than the norm and do not reduce the amount of food during the next meal.

In one laboratory study, four different servings were served four different servings of pasta with cheese. For the purity of the experiment, the subjects were tested on different days, separately from each other. At the same time, they ate everything completely, regardless of size. And the biggest plate of pasta was as much as 1000 g! At the same time, each participant, even receiving the smallest portion, noted in himself a feeling of full satiation.

In another study, participants were served an afternoon snack – potato chips. A bag of chips weighed 170 grams (despite the fact that the usual weight of a package of snacks was 85g). Subjects ate 18-37% more than usual. And they did not compensate for this excess of servings, reducing the next dinner.

But how can this data be applied to counteract the effect of serving size?

This is exactly what the group of researchers, headed by Dr. F. M. Zuraikat, who devoted many years to the study of eating habits, tried to find out.

Serving Size and Package

The new study involved 53 women aged 18-60 years. They were divided into 2 groups. The first group (26 people) became the control, the second (27) – the main, called To-Go (from tradition in eating establishments, when they offer “a serving with themselves”). Participants from both groups had similar initial data. Average age – 29 years. Average body mass index (height / weight ratio) – 25.

Every week, women came to the laboratory for dinner. On an experimental day, they were asked to abstain from alcohol. And do not eat three hours before the scheduled test.

Four serving sizes were set. They varied on different days. Sometimes the portion was doubled. Food included chicken breast with cream sauce and Parmesan cheese, pasta with garlic butter sauce, broccoli, bread, grapes and water. The size of the base portion was 560 grams (828 kcal). But on some days, it reached 980 grams (almost 1,500 kcal).

The To-Go group was informed that it was possible to take home the undernourished after dinner in a special package. There was no such announcement in the control group.

Could such a simple opportunity help to answer the question “how to eat less”? Let’s look at the results.

How to eat less? Experiment results

As expected, the women in the control group ate more when a plate with an increased portion was placed in front of them. In particular, out of every additional 100 grams of the proposed dinner, they absorbed 64 grams. In other words, the more they were given, the more they ate.

However, in the To-Go group, women did not seek overeating! On average, they ate only 17 extra grams above normal. After all, they knew that the rest could be taken with them and put aside the next day or fed their beloved dog.

In addition, despite the different serving sizes, the estimates of hunger and satisfaction were the same in both groups.

Two more factors influenced the amount of food:

  • feed rate
  • and price.

In the control group, when serving sizes increased, those who ate slowly ate less.

Knowing the high price of a dish had the opposite effect.

When participants were informed about the monetary value of food, they were inclined to eat everything, even with a greatly increased size.

Is it really a habit to “so that good does not disappear” affects us so much?

A simple solution, as is less

Most people tend to eat a portion to the end. But the realization that the undernourished will not disappear can make them stop, you can take it with you. This is especially true when a lot of products have been paid for.

So, for those who are engaged in losing weight, it is important to consider the To-Go option when visiting guests and restaurants. Chewing slowly and taking half-eaten food in bags or plastic containers with you is a great way to prevent overeating.

And most importantly, it works!