Portion Control

Healthy, Recipes
on March 1, 2007

We eat with our eyes more than you may realize. In fact, we are easily coaxed into eating more than we want—or need—by the size of our plate, the bulk of a box or who we’re with. Food psychologist Brian Wansink describes this in his entertaining book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam Dell, 2006). Based on his studies, here are ways these invisible cues may impact you:

  • You’re likely to eat 53 percent more popcorn from a big bucket than a medium one.
  • When dishing up ice cream, you may eat 57 percent more if you use a large bowl and scoop compared to smaller ones.
  • If you grab a low-fat snack instead of a regular version, you’ll eat up to 50 percent more.
  • You may consume 75 percent more calories if you eat with four people compared to dining alone.

—Janet Helm, a registered dietitian in Chicago

Found in: Healthy, Recipes