The Secrets of Portion Control!
One of my favorite diet gurus is Dr. Brian Wansink who is the head of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University in Chicago. He is also known as the mad scientist of portion control experiments and has done many fascinating experiments on human behavior around food and drink
A recent article from Cooking Light magazine referring to Dr. Wansink, talks about how you can lose substantial amounts of weight just by paying attention to the size of the portions you eat every day.
His research shows that very small serving savings can net big changes in body fat percentage and overall body weight. “In most of our studies we found people can eat 20% less without noticing….and if we make three small 100 calorie changes per day by the end of the year we can be 30 pounds lighter.”
Here are 8 quick and easy to use strategies from Dr. Wansink that can help you make that 20% cut while still enjoying the food you love.
Slow Down – It’s almost a cliché’, but like many clichés are true. It takes you stomach 10-15 minutes to relay signals of satiety to your brain. Pledge to eat slower and chew longer.
Abandon the Clean Plate Club – In one study Parisians were asked how they knew to stop eating. Their answer: When they felt full. Chicagoan’s answer: When everyone else is done eating or until my plate is empty. Think like a Parisian
Be selective about what you put on the table – Plate entrees in the kitchen then serve lower calorie vegetables and salads family style. Proximity to food can make the 20% difference.
Think about the color of your dishes – If you are having mashed potatoes you’ll have 18% more if they are served on a white plate as opposed to a plate that offers more contrast. Darker plates also work when eating pasta. The higher contrast makes you aware of the size of the portion you are eating.
Face your food – Wansink says, never eat directly from a package. Always portion it out in a dish, so you must face exactly how much you eat. People eat 20-30% more when eating directly out of the box or bag. The bigger the package the more we consume
Remember the movie munchies rule – Moviegoers who ate popcorn from a large bucket ate 53% more than those who chose a medium size bucket. Get in the habit of choosing smaller portions all around. If you give people a lot they will eat a lot. It’s human nature.
Remember small baby steps done daily, can create enormous changes, its all about staying aware and not eating mindlessly.