Watching television and cramming for tests are the two times when I know that I have the tendency to mindlessly consume food. But now, I will be paying closer attention to just how much I am eating due to a recent article published on msnbc.
The article discusses a study where a free chicken wing buffet was offered to 52 graduate students while they watched the Super Bowl at a sports bar. Hey now, who could pass up free chicken wings? As part of the study, the waitresses were told to clear the dishes at only half of the tables. If people had their tables continually cleared, they continually ate. Each of these people ate an average of seven chicken wings apiece. The students who did not have their table bused ate less and had eaten an average of two fewer chicken wings per person, which is 28 percent less than those whose tables had been bused.
So, basically, this study follows the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. As soon as the dishes were cleared from the table, those students seemed to forget how much they had already consumed and devoured whatever was brought to them next.
Moral of the story: See what you are eating before and while consuming it. Put everything on a plate or in a bowl before you plan on eating. You will consume less.
Other tips on this topic:
1. Don’t eat anything straight out of a bag! Put any cereal, popcorn, or chips into a bowl so that you realize the amount you will consume.
2. Keep empty beverage containers out in plain sight so that you realize how much you have already drank. It’s very easy to forget if you keep tossing them out and guzzling down more.