Two common eating habits that can actually build up in pounds


The portion of food you put on the plate and how quickly you eat can determine how much you eat or can overeat.

A new study found that when people were given larger portions of macaroni and cheese for lunch, they ate more, up to 43% more when increased by 75%.

Those who ate faster or took bigger bites also used to eat more .

“I think our main findings have health implications and how much we eat. And one more step, weight maintenance and weight said study author Paige Cunningham, a doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University.

The researchers gathered 44 men and women for lunch weekly for four weeks, giving them different-sized portions of macaroni and cheese in random order, served with water. They videotaped the meals so they could assess the speed with which the participants ate, as well as the size of their bites.

Study participants ranged in age from 18 to 68 years. About two-thirds were women. About 45% were overweight or obese.

The speed of eating did not change with the larger portion sizes. Participants ate more when they ate faster or took larger bites, and also when they ate more or ate for longer.

The reason people eat more when they eat faster may be a matter of the body’s response to the time food passes into a person’s mouth.

“When we eat very quickly, it’s obvious that food spends less time in the mouth. And when we take very large bites, the food spends less time in the mouth. So these signals take longer and take longer to tell us to let go. of food and we end up eating more when we take bigger bites and eat faster, ”Cunningham said.

Knowing that people eat more when their portions are larger, one recommendation is to be aware of the portions you give yourself. A person can also compensate for consuming more energy or calories than he needs by choosing foods that have fewer calories per gram.

“If we eat foods that offer less energy, we will consume less energy and we will be able to eat those satisfying portions,” Cunningham said.

These can be water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, said study co-author Barbara Rolls, a professor in the nutrition science department at Penn State College of Health and Human Development.

While slowing down food may be an option to reduce excessive consumption, it’s hard to do, Rolls said, and some evidence suggests that eating speed is a genetic behavior.

“I think it’s clear that if people could be more attentive, slow down and pay attention, they could help them eat less. But it’s like all things related to weight management, it’s hard to get people to do it. “Rolls explains. dit.

In their lab, they sometimes change the caloric density of food, reducing it by 30% without people noticing, Rolls said. They do this by mixing more vegetables, using more herbs and spices and a little less fat, but maintaining a high palatability. People can also make these small changes at home.

The research will be presented this week at the annual virtual meeting of the American Nutrition Society. Findings presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal. The research was funded by Jenny Craig, Inc., and the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Renal Diseases of the United States.

“Honestly, I’m not surprised,” said Dana Hunnes, an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, who did not participate in the study. “There has been some data over the years that has indicated that as portion sizes have increased, people also tend to eat more.”

Hunnes said it can take 15 to 20 minutes to recognize that the body is full and begins to go through the digestion process.

“It was interesting for them to come to the conclusion that eating faster and bigger bites was also related to eating more, but again that doesn’t surprise me because I think it’s well known that when people eat faster it takes longer to complete. , therefore, tends to eat more and then bigger bites, just bite you’re getting more calories, ”he said.

Hunnes, who advocates a diet of plant-based whole foods, said he doesn’t like to see people go hungry when they try to cut back on their diet. or healthier eating. She recommends stacking the dish with low-calorie fresh vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

“It’s a good start,” Hunnes said. “You won’t go hungry because it will fill your stomach.”

Larger portions make preschoolers eat more over time

More information:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more advice eat for a healthy weight.

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