It is well-known that environment affects people’s eating patterns, as well as the presentation of foods, their temperature, and whether one eats with others versus eating alone.
According to a research at Cornell University in New York, the amount of food we eat is related to the size of the utensils we use. The researchers found a directly proportional relationship between the size of eating utensils and food consumption.
Use small plates and cutlery
In the study, participants were invited to an “ice cream party” without letting them know the real intention of the reunion. Each participant was randomly given one of two sizes of bowls—17-ounce or 34-ounce—as well as one of two sizes of serving scoops—2-ounce or 3-ounce.
What was most interesting was the fact that the participants were so-called nutrition experts and, therefore, might have been likely to eat less or better control their portion size given their knowledge of the topic. Nevertheless, people with the largest bowls and scoops still ate more ice cream.
The research team noted that just by increasing the size of the bowl, people actually served themselves around 31% more ice cream than those with the smaller bowl. Moreover, they found that people who were given a larger scoop served themselves 14.5% more ice cream than those who used the smaller one.
This study shows the strong influence that the size of kitchen utensils can have on the amount of food we eat, and how difficult it may be to fight the “temptation” to serve ourselves more food when using larger utensils. What can we conclude? We should use smaller plates and cutlery in order to eat less.
Measure your servings
One serving is the amount of food you serve yourself. A good way to measure your servings is by using cups and spoons. This will help you visualize the size of your portions.
As time goes by, food serving sizes and portions are getting larger; cookies, chocolate bars, french fries, and sodas are served in larger sizes each day.
One of the main problems related to this is that by increasing your serving sizes and portions, you increase your caloric consumption, and this inevitably leads to weight gain. Being overweight or obese is an important risk factor for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, or even cancer.
Tips to eat wisely
- Avoid eating in front of the television or computer, or while you are busy with other activities, because this won’t let you focus on what you are eating.
- Eat slowly so your brain can send a prompt satiety signal to your stomach.
- Accompany your meals with vegetables and salads instead of high-fat side dishes or high-sugar desserts.
- When you cook a large amount of food, freeze what you are not going to eat at the time, so you don’t fall in the temptation of eating more with the excuse “it might get spoiled.”
- Avoid skipping meals. This will help you take control of your hunger in the next meal.
- Eat healthy, low-calorie snacks, or try replacing them with fruits.
- If you decide to eat a cookie or chocolate, make sure to have no more than one serving so you don’t exceed your calorie intake.
- Stop eating right before you feel completely full. Share large meals.
- Order small- or regular-sized drinks—preferably calorie free— instead of large ones, which have more calories.
Keep in mind that in order to maintain a healthy body weight it is important to use small plates and cutlery, as well as to select healthy food choices and measure your servings.
© 2016 HolaDoctor