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Supersizing
Supersizing Increases Calorie Intake for Several Days

Dietitian Juliette Kellow reports on new research which proves once again that the more food we have in front of us, the more we're likely to eat.

Supersizing Increases Calorie Intake for Several Days

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Most slimmers know that supersizing a meal increases the calorie content of that meal. But now new research shows that we tend not to compensate for this at our next few meals – even if we’re once again given a large serving.

The research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association gave 32 adults the same meals and snacks for two consecutive days over a three-week period. However, each week the meals and snacks varied in their serving size or portion.

When portions increased by 50 percent, daily calorie intakes increased by 16 percent, and when portions were doubled, calorie intakes increased by 26 percent. Daily ratings of fullness were lowest on the days when the smallest portions were received, but surprisingly they didn’t differ significantly between meals that had 50 percent or 100 percent more food.

WLR says:

This research proves once again that the more food we have in front of us, the more we’re likely to eat – and unfortunately, we can’t rely on appetite control to tell us when to stop eating. Quite simply, bigger portions mean more calories and ultimately a bigger dress size!

If you want to know more about the science of eating, take a look at Secret Eaters on Channel 4.

Try these tips on how to control your calories and portion size:

  • When eating out, never supersize meals.
     
  • Always go for the smallest item available – that means opting for a regular hamburger and small fries instead of a double cheeseburger with large fries; or choosing the thin and crispy 7-inch pizza rather than the stuffed crust 10-inch pizza!
     
  • Never eat from packets or tubs – it’s easy to polish off an entire 100g packet of tortillas or tub of ice cream if you can’t easily see the quantity. Instead, always serve food on plates so you can see the amount in front of you.
     
  • Always follow recommended quantities on packets of rice, pasta, couscous and breakfast cereals – and don’t be tempted to throw in another handful ‘just in case’.
     
  • Try swapping your usual plate for a smaller bowl – you’ll be less likely to recognise the fact that you’re eating less.
     
  • Always fill your plate with low-cal vegetables or salad first – they should cover at least a third of your plate.

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