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Taking Smaller Bites Can help You Lose Weight

Update Date: Jan 24, 2013 03:51 AM EST
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Taking smaller bites of your favorite food can help you prevent overeating, even when you are distracted, says a new study.

Smaller portion sizes along with mindful eating are good ways to watch your weight without going on stressful diets. But, with T.V dinners and eating while texting, people can sometimes lose track of how much food they have eaten. The new study conducted by researchers from Netherlands found that distracted people can reduce the amount of food eaten when they take small bites.

The study included a small group of 53 people aged between 18 and 35 years. These people were asked to consume soup while watching a movie. The amount of soup that could be taken by the study participants was predetermined. For two days of the study, it was either (5 grams or 0.2 ounces) or large (15 grams or 0.5 ounces). However, on the third day, participants were allowed to sip as much soup as they wanted, reports Livescience. All the study participants were allowed to stop sipping the soup whenever they wanted.

Study results showed that people who were distracted were more likely to sip more soup than those who weren't. Also, taking smaller sips reduced soup consumption by as much as 30 percent.

The study found that on the third day of the study, study participants underestimated the amount of soup that they had consumed.

Researchers say that designing foods that require smaller bites may prevent overeating.

"Designing foods by food industry that involves consumption of small bites/sips may prevent overconsumption and decrease the prevalence of obesity," researchers wrote in the journal.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.                                                    

A related study published in Behavior Therapy says that increasing time taken to eat a meal is associated with greater weight loss.  A similar study reports that eating slowly might maximize satiation and reduce energy intake within meals.

Many experts believe that eating with full attention helps people in consuming lesser calories. It is possible for people to eat all kinds of food without overindulging in anything. Mindful eating can help in preventing weight gain. On the other hand,, mindful eating can also help people who are thin and want to put on weight.

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