When you reach for a late-afternoon snack today consider halving the portion size. New research from Cornell University shows that doing so will leave you equally satisfied while reducing your daily calorie intake.
In the study (subscription required), researchers divided participants into two groups and gave each different portion sizes of snacks. One group was given 100g of chocolate, 200g of apple pie and 80g of potato chips. These portions were all slightly bigger than the recommended sizes, and the total snack equaled 1370 calories. The second group was provided with 10g, 40g, and 10g of these same foods respectively, for a total of 195 calories. Both groups were given as much time as needed to eat the snacks, and afterwards, individuals rated their hunger and craving before the snacks were presented and 15 minutes after eating the food.
As Science Daily reports, study results showed:
… smaller portion sizes are capable of providing similar feelings of satisfaction as larger ones. Those given larger portions consumed 77% more food, amounting to 103 calories more, but they did not feel any appetite enhancing or stronger feelings of satiety than the group with the smaller portions. Overall these findings reflect the importance of portion size. While larger portions result in increased food intake, smaller portions may make you feel equally satisfied. The smaller portions can lead to a decline in hunger and desire that would help people limit their food intake.
Previously: Can edible “stop signs” revive portion control and curb overeating?, Stanford nutritionist offers guidelines for eating healthy on the go, Is frequent snacking to blame for Americans’ growing waistlines? and The dark side of “light” snacks: study shows substitutes may contribute to weight gain
Photo by Melissa Wiese