Τρίτη, 26 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

The Easiest Way to Shrink Your Gut

We all like to do stuff while we eat: watch TV, read a magazine, talk with a buddy—sometimes all three at once.

But those distractions take our minds off how much grub we’re shoving down our throats, which can lead to overeating. Want to eat less without being bored? Take smaller bites and sips, according to a new Dutch study.



Researchers served 53 people bowls of tomato soup. As they ate, some people watched videos while others were instructed to think about their soup’s flavor. As the researchers predicted, the distracted video-watchers slurped roughly 11 percent more soup than those who focused on their food. No surprise there.

In a follow-up study, the researchers repeated the same experiment, but gave some people small spoons and others big ones. The big spooners ate about the same amount as the people in the first experiment. But the small spooners, even when distracted, ate 30 percent less soup than the rest of the study participants.

Here’s why: Small bites trick your brain into believing you’re eating more food, explains study co-author Dieuwerke Bolhuis, who studies food research at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The more bites you take, the more your brain’s “taste system” is activated, and the more satisfied you feel, Bolhuis says. Large bites (or spoonfuls) do just the opposite: You eat more food in less time, and your taste system lags behind, meaning you don’t realize you’re full, the study says. (You can also torch all that extra stomach fat with The Belly Off! Workouts.)

So if you’re trying to curb your mindless binging, Bolhuis’s advice is simple: Take smaller bites. Tiny utensils will help, or just get in the habit of scooping less food onto your fork or spoon, she says. And speaking of small solutions: Past research shows eating from small plates or dishing out food using small serving utensils also fools your brain into believing you’ve had more to eat.

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