Family Health and Well-Being Educator
Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County
Managing your food intake can be hard. With so many environmental forces at play, it can feel like an uphill battle. Use these tips to remember the factors that can help to give you a better chance of successfully changing your eating behaviors.
n Portion size: The more you put on your plate, the more you will consume. Try a smaller plate and/or measure out suggested serving size.
n Caloric concentration: Studies show that you will eat the same volume of food regardless of its fat content. You can use this to your advantage by eating high-volume foods with low calories, like veggies.
n Variety: People who cut out carbohydrates (as in a low-carb diet) or protein (such as vegetarians) do not make up the caloric deficit with other macronutrients.
n Composite meals: When foods in a meal are eaten one at a time, more total calories are consumed than if they are mixed together, like in a stir fry.
n Social interference: The more people you eat with, the more you are likely to eat. This is because of a social modeling phenomenon – when you are around others, you will match their portion sizes and speed of eating, which usually means you will end up consuming more than if you had eaten alone.
n Food primes: Intake of food increases after watching others eat. Advertisers know this and use it to their advantage during television ads and sponsorship deals with television show products.
n Out of sight, out of mind!: Humans are opportunistic eaters. That means that if you leave the cookies on the counter, you are more likely to snack on them throughout the day. Storing food out of sight can therefore help to reduce intake.
Talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.