Could cutting food into pieces help you drop pounds?

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The key to weight loss includes eating eight and exercise. But what if all it took was cutting up your food in a certain way to help trim those waistlines.

“I’m just going to eat these 200 calories today and then a lot of them complain that they still feel hungry,” Arizona State University PhD candidate Devina Wadhera said.

It's the feeling so many of us have when struggling to lose weight.

“A lot of times people tell you to eat slower or take smaller bites, I think that is really hard to do when you’re actually sitting in front of food and eating it,” Wadhera said.

But what if cutting calories was as simple as cutting your food up into smaller pieces?

Wadhera along with some colleagues decided to find out.

“So I decided to do a study where I gave a bagel cut into four pieces verses a single bagel,” Wadhera said.

The study looked at 301 college students. Some got to eat a whole bagel with cream cheese while others had a bagel with cream cheese cut into four pieces. Twenty minutes later both groups were treated to lunch.

“We found that the people who got the bagel in pieces actually ate much less of the test lunch and also ate much less of the bagel that we gave them,” Wadhera said. “It was about 40-percent fewer calories from the test lunch and they ate 23-percent overall less.”
Wadhera said some reasons include;

“Something in pieces looks like more on the plate verses just a single piece,” Wadhera continued. “So I think it's more of an optical illusion. It's more of our eyes tricking the stomach.”

This is just one more tool to help in the fight against obesity.

“Cutting up your food before you eat, I think that can make a huge difference to how much you eat and this is an easy thing to do,” Wadhera said.

The research was presented at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior conference in Switzerland.