Researchers have now studied the dining habits of obese people at the all-you-can-eat buffet. According to a report in the science journal Nature, the researchers found that those with the highest body mass index also had a set of so-called "fat habits." Here are a few examples.
- They use larger plates. When offered two plate sizes, nearly 99% of those with the highest BMIs took the larger of the two plates to the buffet. A bigger plate tricks your eye into thinking you're not eating as much. Use a smaller plate, get a smaller belly.
- Another “fat habit” – the overweight diners ate while looking at food. Almost 42% of the overweight people studied chose seats that overlooked the buffet, instead of sitting in a booth, or facing in a different direction. That’s a problem because the sight of food makes us want to eat more. That’s why you should keep unhealthy foods stored in the pantry, not out on the countertops. The exception - leave fresh fruit out where you can see it.
- Also at a buffet, overweight people ate with maximum efficiency. While Chinese buffets offer chopsticks, 91% of obese customers chose to eat their Chinese with forks. That makes it easier to eat more, and eat it more quickly. In fact, whether you’re eating Chinese food or not, a simple way to eat more slowly – and therefore eat less – is to use chopsticks.
- Overweight buffet diners also cleaned their plates. 94% of the heaviest diners cleaned their plates so there was nothing left.
- Obese people chew faster. Researchers actually monitored the chewing habits of the buffet-goers and discovered that the heaviest people chewed their food an average of 11 times before swallowing. The leanest people chewed 15 times.
- The last “fat habit” - they dive in. The leanest people in the study took a lap around the buffet first, to plot out what they wanted to eat. However, the more overweight group charged right in, trying a larger variety of foods. The more variety on your plate, the less satisfied your stomach is – so you go back for seconds.