Why do we eat more than we should?

This question has been explored at Cornell University in New York, USA by nutritionist Brian Wansink. Although his research has been questioned, the researcher put forth hypotheses in his book, "Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think." He proposed that secret seducers in food can be blamed for eating too much.

Pair eating delicious food at restaurant

Seducer 1: XXL packaging

During an evening watching films, an average of 71 Smarties candies were eaten from a 250 g (about 1 cup) bag. In comparison, an average of 137 candies were taken from a 500 g (about 2 cup) bag. That's 264 calories more!

Seducer 2: Big plates

The sight of 120 g (about 1/2 cup) of mashed potatoes has relatively little impact on a large plate with a diameter of 30 cm (12 inches). Therefore we are tempted to take a second helping. A small plate with a diameter of only 20 cm (8 inches), on the other hand, is well filled with 1/2 cup of mashed potato.

Seducer 3: Variety

During an evening of watching films, test subjects ate an average of 12 monochromatic Gummy Bears candies. When offered multicolored versions of the candies, on the other hand, they ate an average of 23 pieces.

Seducer 4: Feeling good

If we get a particularly good wine in the restaurant, we stay 10 minutes longer on average. The problem is that we eat 11 percent more during this time.

Seducer 5: Cleared plates

When chewed bones and the like are immediately cleared away after the meal, we no longer see how much we have eaten. We unconsciously eat 28 percent more.

Seducer 6: Good mood

Only every third person is a "stress eater," while for most, a good mood stimulates the appetite! The result: When we watch a funny movie in the cinema, we eat 29 percent more popcorn than we would when watching a serious movie.

Seducer 7: Colorful walls

Painted, shiny surfaces and loud music make us eat faster. That's why we only stay 11 minutes in fast food restaurants that are designed in this way. But the feeling of satiety sets in only after 20 minutes. The result: We eat more.

Seducer 8: Habit

We were raised to eat all the time! In one test, plates were secretly refilled from beneath with soup. Instead of eating a normal 250 ml (1 cup) portion of soup with 155 calories, the test subjects automatically ate more: Up to 420 ml (1.75 cups) with 268 calories.

Seducer 9: Big portions

With a small burger of 300 calories, we estimate the calorie count on average around 10 percent too low. With a extra-large burger of 900 calories, we estimate the count at around 40 percent too low.

Seducer 10: Distraction

After just five minutes, every third restaurant guest no longer knows how much bread he or she has eaten while in conversation. Twelve percent even deny having eaten bread at all!

Seducer 11: Visible food

Professor Wansink offered chocolates to his assistants. If the chocolates were in transparent foil packs, the assistants opened them eight times a day. If the chocolates were invisible because they were wrapped in white paper, the assistants only nibbled on them five times a day.

Seducer 12: Easy access

From a freezer with a lid, a cafeteria sells ice cream to 14 percent of its visitors. If the freezer comes without a lid, then 30 percent take the ice cream.

Seducer 13: Loose clothing

In US prisons, inmates gained 20 to 25 pounds in six months. Turns out, their wide overalls made them unaware of how much weight they were gaining.

The conclusion of the research

- Do not buy bulk-packaged food!

- Eat from small plates!

- Avoid distractions while eating!

- Wear body-skimming clothing if you want to lose weight or stay slim!

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