Humans enjoy their food more when it's been cut into pieces, research has found. And according to academics from Arizona State University, this could be good news for dieters.
A food portion cut into multiple, bite-sized pieces looks larger and elicits greater satiation than the same portion presented as a single, large piece, the team reported at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB).
No matter whether the two portions of food have the same calorific value.
Could you lose weight by cutting up your food?
A sample of 301 college students was given a bagel uncut or cut into quarters.
Twenty minutes after the bagel was consumed, subjects were told that they could eat as much or as little from a complimentary lunch. Any leftover bagel and test meal was then recorded.
Subjects who received the single, uncut bagel ate more calories from both the bagel and the test meal than those who received the multiple-piece bagel.
This shows that food cut into multiple pieces may be more satiating than a single, uncut portion of food.
Devina Wadhera, the lead author, said in a statement: "Cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control."
Take a look at other natural weight-loss aids...
Green tea is rich in the antioxidant called catechin which help speed up metabolism and burn fat quicker. It also contributes towards lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Pinapples contain high levels of an enzyme called bromelain that aids digestion and prevents inflammation and swelling in the gut, which can lead to constipation and weight gain.
Green coffee bean extracts help reduce the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut, as well as insulin levels, which improve metabolic function. Read more about the weight-loss benefits of green coffee beans here.
Although drinking water alone won't shift the pounds, drinking a glass of it before you eat will make you eat less and suppress your appetite. It also keep you hydrated throughout the day and will keep hunger pangs at bay, because hunger is mostly driven by dehydration.
Having an egg for breakfast keeps you feeling fuller for longer as it acts like a bulking agent in the stomach. It also staves off hunger pangs because the protein prevents the blood sugar level spikes, which lead to food cravings.
Eating half a grapefruit before each meal or drinking grapefruit juice three times a day helps aid weight loss. The fruit's phytochemicals reduce insulin levels, a process that forces the body to convert calories into energy rather than fat.
Beans and pulses contain cholecystokinin, a natural appetite suppressant as they stay in the stomach longer. They also help keep blood sugar on an even keel, so you can stave off hunger longer.
A little bit of cinnamon a day can help control post-meal insulin spikes, which make you feel peckish. A recent study by U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered the blood sugar and cholesterol levels.