A new study conducted by researchers at the Arizona State University Department of Psychology found that cutting foods into smaller pieces causes people to eat less. When they presented subjects with an uncut bagel, versus one that was cut into quarters, those who were given the smaller pieces ate less.
This study reminded me that it’s not only what you eat that’s important to maintaining a healthy weight, but how you eat it. So, I thought I would give you some of my favorite dining secrets for taking off the pounds.
- Begin your meal with a salad or a cup of vegetable soup, which helps to take the edge off your appetite.
- Cut your foods into smaller pieces. As the above study showed, when you divide your food into smaller pieces you’re less likely to overeat. Another trick is to use chopsticks with your meal, or a salad fork, which forces you to cut your food into smaller pieces.
- Slow down. You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating, that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full. The reason isn’t that it takes 20 minutes for the food to reach your stomach, but rather for a section in your intestines called the ileum to secret a hormone called PYY which tells your brain you’re full and to stop eating. If you eat more quickly, you’re short-circuiting that system.
- Get more sleep. Many recent studies have found that there’s a strong link between sleep and weight control. The reason is that a lack of sleep is a double-whammy. It reduces your leptin levels, the chemical that controls satiety after you eat. Plus, it triggers the release of the “hunger chemical” ghrelin which stimulates your appetite. That’s why after a late night out you can find yourself feeling extra hungry the next day.
- Serve your meals “restaurant style.” Research shows that when people are served family style, with serving dishes placed on the table, they tend to eat more. Instead, prepare your plate at the stove and sit down to a single serving of food. If you’re truly hungry, you can always go back for seconds.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have any tips that have helped you to lose weight?