According to a new study, if it's in front of us - we'll eat it.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University recruited dozens of women between the ages of 20 and 45 for a study. They were all different shapes and sizes, but none of the ladies were dieting. For six weeks, they were served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner were the same for all the women, and they could eat as much as they wanted.
But lunch was different. Volunteers got either a 1,700 calorie or a 1,200 calorie version of the same meal, and it was served in 3 different portion sizes--So what happened? The women who were served the largest, high-calorie portion ate 56% more food overall than the other women. And at dinner each night, none of these women tried to cut back. They ate the same amount of food, regardless of how big their lunch was. And they didn't report any differences in hunger, either. Basically, the big lunches DIDN'T help curb their appetites.
So what's the bottom line? You have to control your portions - or they'll control you.
And if you don't know what a healthy portion is, here are some guidelines, courtesy of Web MD.
For a single serving:
- Pasta is about the size of a scoop of ice cream
- Meat, fish and poultry is the size of a deck of cards
- Snacks such as chips should be about the size of a cupped handful
- A potato should be the size of a computer mouse
- Pancakes are the size of a compact disc
- And a single serving of cheese is about the size of a pair of dice.