Eat It All and Don't Feel Guilty!

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According to research done by Brian Wansink of Cornell University, changing size and color of plates and glasses can make enough look like enough (not less). Studies have shown that smaller plates make healthy portions look more satisfying than when they are surrounded by the empty space of oversized plates. The same goes for drinks in tall skinny glasses (compared to wider ones). The more space we give ourselves, the more likely we are to try to fill it up and then eat it all.

When there is a bunch of food on our plate, we eat and eat and eat and eat until it's all gone. This is because our visual cues of what is left on the plate reach our brain before our stomach can signal that we're full. If we cut down how much we put on our plate and give our brain time to process the stimulus, then we could avoid stomachaches from eating too much.

But how do we cut these portions without making people feel cheated when they're paying money at restaurants and fast food places? At Duke University, they have a theory: The focus of a dish is the entre, right? So instead of taking away from the main attraction, portions of side dishes (that are often packed with calories) can be reduced with little, if any, notice.

At a glance, the portions above look the same but there's actually about half the amount of rice in the picture on the right. The light color of the plate and the rice gives the illusion that there's more than if it were to be set on a dark plate. Also, the entre is what probably got your attention initially. If you don't focus on what's missing and pay more attention to your stomach's cues, portion control could be a piece of cake.

Cutting back doesn't mean starving yourself; it means taking control and adapting to the way your brain and body works so that you maximize the nutrition you get from every meal. Most of us don't have the self-control to throw away perfectly tasty food. Adopting these simple tips will help lessen the amount you eat and how much you end up wasting once you do realize that you are way too full to eat another yummy bite.

Sources:
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/trimming-super-size-with-psychology-139344678.html

5 Comments

This is a really interesting point. This makes me wonder if there are strategies that restaurants use to trick people into buying more food. Packaging may be related to this idea. One thing that I do notice on the other hand, is that companies tend to package things so that there is extra space in it to make people feel like they are getting more for their money. It is possible that this strategy works better for selling people on the item in the first place.

I also thought it was interesting that the color of the plate can make a difference. I pictured putting rice on a black plate, and it would look like a lot less. This is definitely something that I would like to see weight loss companies take into account, and see if it has an affect on the success.

That is interesting. This may or may not relate but color of the plate plays a factor in hunger. Blue plates can work to curb appetite. This is because there are no naturally occurring blue foods in nature. Therefore, our instinct is to not eat as much.

I have heard this before but I like the picture and the explanation of it. I must say that even if we don't need all the food we like more bang for our buck. Take subway for example, if you are offered a six inch or footlong for a dollar difference most everyone will buy the footlong. Maybe this is because we know and can see the comparison. Restaurants do whatever they can to make a buck here or there for example restaurants use red table clothes for it is proven that red makes a person feel hungrier, also restaurants fill glasses full with ice so there is less room for liquids. Although it is criticized to manipulate people to spend more for less, in terms of proportions it can be said that they are just watching out for our waste line! :)

I knew this before but I never knew there was an actual study and I like the explanation behind it.
One restaurant I would say that does well in small portions (maybe too small) is Loring Pasta Bar, they use light small plates and although they fill the bowls and plates, it is small portions.

Restaurants do a lot to get money from people. You will see a lot of red table clothes because red gives you the emotion that you are hungry. Also they fill cups full with ice so there is less room for liquids! It can be said that restaurants manipulate us just take our money but if more restaurants adapt to this philosophy it can be said that they are just looking out for our waist line :)

The title of your blog perfectly represents how most of us want to feel, at least this is exactly the way I want to feel after I eat a meal. But instead I overeat most of the times and feel guilty afterward. Once again, your blog too shows me how crucial the brain's functions are to everything we do in our lives. I admire the idea you point out, that the way to eat correctly and gain the full nutrition is to learn to control the way our brain and body function together. I now understand that when we eat the visual cue of the left over food reaches the brain before the stomach can send the signal to the brain that it is full. So from now on I am going to practice to pay more attention to my stomach cues and give some time for the brain to process and understand that I am full instead of immediately piling up more food or eating the left over, which is exactly what I do every time I eat a meal. After reading your blog I have been enlightened on a practical and easy way to control how much I eat without starving myself and in the process lose some unwanted pounds! thank you!

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This page contains a single entry by loxxx182 published on February 22, 2012 3:06 PM.

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