Fool Food Before It Fools You

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Blog
caddle chips

Everywhere around us food is always readily available. It seems we’re never far from the refrigerator, a snack machine, a restaurant, or even a street vendor. The temptation to eat is constant. And eat we do. Many of us, actually most of us, suffer from ‘see food’ anxiety – we see food and we have to nibble at it, pick at it, or just plain shove it all in whether we’re hungry or not. And the more there is available either on a plate, in a bowl or in a bag the more we tend to eat until it’s all gone.  We are a nation of overeaters.

So, how do we control this insatiable relationship we have with food? It really comes down to sizing. For example, when you go to the movies chances are you will stop by the snack counter and pick up a huge bucket of popcorn or a big bag of chips along with a mega size pop before heading into the theatre. The reasoning is that the big size is better value and it’s a two-hour movie and you don’t want to have to get up and get more half way through the show. What’s interesting is that half way through the bag of whatever you’re really feeling quite full and you really don’t want anymore. Yet, you’ll continue to eat simply because it’s still there. Had you of only bought a medium or even a small you would have been quite satisfied and saved not only money, but on the calories and fat, too.

When it comes to eating off of plates, all of us love to see as much food as possible on a big plate. Restaurants, particularly ‘family’ style restaurants serve their foods on plates the size of platters to show clientele that they’re getting good value for their meal. It’s the same at home. Most dinner plates are much larger than they need to be simply because we’re afraid that our meals will look too sparse if we don’t have a large enough plate to load the food up on. What’s key here is having a full plate. It fools us into believing that we’ll be full after we eat. In fact, we’re usually over full. Now, it’s been proven that if you load up a medium size plate in the same fashion as a larger plate you will be just as full because you’ve tricked your mind into believing that you’re full even though you’ve eaten thirty or forty percent less.

It’s the same with, say, ice cream in a bowl. If you fill up a large bowl, chances are you’ll eat until the bowl is finished. Try doing the same thing with a smaller bowl. I’ll bet you’ll be just as ‘full’ even though you’ve eaten significantly less. And if you really want to do it right, use a small spoon. You’ll trick your mind into believing that you’re eating way more than what you really are. The slower you eat, the faster you’ll feel full and stop eating.

Brian Wansink, the Dyson Professor of Marketing in the Applied Economics and Management Department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York recently summarized topics on ‘How to trick yourself into eating less’ with the following:

Bigger servings: People ate 34% more popcorn from a larger bucket as opposed to a smaller one.

Fancy Names: Clever marketing words like ‘succulent’ and ‘mouthwatering’ on restaurant menus drives sales higher by 27%.

Table vs Counter: Leaving serving dishes on the table rather than on the counter resulted in men eating about 29% more and women 10% more.

Eat at your own pace: Sitting with someone eating quickly can result in you eating more than sitting with someone that eats more slowly.

Watch your bones: When eating meat off the bone, like chicken wings and ribs, leave the bones on the table rather than removing them so you can see how many you’ve already eaten.

Follow some of these simple suggestions designed to trick the mind and help you control the amount of food you eat. Fool food before it fools you and you’ll stay ahead of your weight before it gets ahead of you. For more great suggestions, contact your nearest Herbal One centre and talk to any of our qualified counsellors who are always armed with the best way to help you lose weight and keep it off!