Most of our food choices are a result of what our eyes see – not what our stomachs want.

culprit: the amount of food that is placed in front of you. Research
clearly shows that the larger the serving offered, the more food eaten.
In one of the experiments conducted by a research team, subjects were
given one of three sized bags of M&M
candies – a two-pound bag, a one-pound bag and a half-pound bag. Within
a given time period, those who ate from the larger bags consistently
consumed more than those given the smaller serving.

power of what we see, it turns out, is one of the strongest predictors
of how much we eat. The size of a package or a serving bowl gives
people a “perceptual consumption cue” of how much to eat. A portion of
food simply looks smaller when next to a larger package.

The good news:

can use this principle to work for us, rather than against us by
tricking our eyes to see more than is really there. For example, an
equal portion of food looks significantly larger (and more satisfying)
when served on a 10-inch plate as compared to a 14-inch plate.

although a tall, thin glass may hold less liquid than a short, wide
glass, most of us will simply regard a full glass as just that –
regardless of how much is actually there.

supports the notion that satisfying the eyes is a key precursor to
satisfying the stomach. To avoid visual traps that make us eat more
than we may think, try employing the following tips:

Serve your entrée on a salad or dessert plate

Choose tall, thin glasses for your morning juice

Pre-portion snacks in smaller bags immediately after purchasing

Submitted by Sherri Meyer, MS, RD