A study on eating habits conducted by researchers from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City revealed a surprising result: using an oversized fork while dining out may actually cause people to eat less.  In the study, subjects who used a fork that was 20% larger than normal ate less food overall than those who used a fork that was 20% smaller.  It may not make sense initially, but the proposed explanation of it is fairly simple: for subjects who eat with bigger forks, their brains are tricked into believing that more food is being eaten than actually is, and their bodies feel full faster.  It works in the opposite way for those using smaller forks: because the brain perceives that less food is being eaten, the subject may in fact feel hungry longer and end up eating more than they need.

One in three Americans is considered overweight, and that number is expected to rise over the next few years.  Confronted with conflicting and often inaccurate information on diet and fitness, many people are now looking towards alternative methods for weight loss.  Some of these methods include hypnosis, yoga, acupuncture, meditation and even prayer, all of which promote a mind-body connection.  Similar to the University of Utah study, eating meals on smaller plates may reduce the amount of food that is taken in.  Eating more slowly and taking time between bites and longer breaks between servings has also shown some positive results for weight loss.  Particularly in American culture, where overly large portions are the norm in restaurants, people are often unable to recognize when they’ve truly had enough food, and must recondition themselves in order to eat less.

Alternative weight loss methods are of course more successful when combined with exercise and a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat, red meat and processed foods.  The basic rules of weight loss–move more, eat less junk–are the most reliable.  Avoid diets that are promoted by celebrities, fashion magazines or talk shows, as more often than not they’re simply acting as paid endorsers, and have little to no experience in actual diet or nutrition planning.  Be particularly wary of any diet that encourages fasting or “cleanses,” or promises improbable, potentially unhealthy results, such as losing more than five pounds in one week, as it may deprive the body of necessary nutrients.  This may cause the metabolism to slow down, which can result in weight gain.

When it comes to weight loss, using your own best judgment, with the assistance of a doctor or professional knowledgeable in diet and fitness is the best rule.  Get moving, eat healthier–and maybe consider reaching for a bigger fork!

Gena Radcliffe

Medex Supply Blogger

Be Sociable, Share!