One look at that red velvet cake and your stomach is on the floor and at its mercy. But before you start giving birth to that food baby, what about starting with just a bite?
A Cornell food craving study reports taking a small bite of your craved foods may be the only dose you need to satisfy your stomach. Dr. Brian Wansink, Professor of Marketing at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, was a co-author of the study.
“The research,” Wansink explains, “supports the notion that eating for pleasure – hedonic hunger – is driven more by the availability of food rather than the food already eaten.” The study is now published in the January Issue of Food Quality and Preference and was written by Wansink in collaboration with Ellen van Kleef of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and Mitsuru Shimizu, a Cornell post-doctoral researcher.
In other words, this calls for a little self-discipline on all our parts. It’s no excuse that your stomach desperately needed that whole bucket of Häagen-Dazs – because really, all you needed was one spoonful. Don’t worry, you have the right to be skeptical (and the right to feel a little guilty as well)!
During the study, Wansink and his colleagues tested two different groups of 104 adults. They fed one group regular-size portions of one snack and offered another group just a couple of bites of the same snack.
The results were remarkable; those who ate larger portions increased their calorie intake by 77% more than those who ate just a few bites. Yet, for both groups, cravings decreased to the same extent 15 minutes after eating and each reported being equally satisfied.
Wansink leaves us with the following advice: “If you want to control your weight, here’s the secret: Take a bite and wait. After 15 minutes all you’ll remember – in your head and in your stomach – is that you had a tasty snack.”
Do you have the willpower to take just one bite and conquer that craving? Put the study to the test and let us know how it goes!