Sometimes we snack between meals when we are just a little bit hungry. At other times, we eat when we are bored, or as an activity when meeting up with someone or a group socially. Snacking can either be a part of a healthy lifestyle, or hinder it depending upon how it is done. Here are some smarter ways to snack, so that no matter the situation, you can be sure to fit in and keep in line with your healthful outlook. First, look at the size of your utensils. It may mean the difference in how much you consume. One study out of the University of Utah found that when they gave restaurant goers really big forks and a plate full of food, they tended to leave 20% more than those given undersized forks. The results were published in the Journal of Consumer Research. According to Live Science those with small forks felt as though they are making no progress at all on their meal.
Who doesn’t love to eat in front of the TV? But studies have shown that this is when you tend to put more food into your mouth. According to a Cornell University study, if you are going to eat in front of the TV, don’t watch an action flick. People ate on average 354 more calories than they normally would have when they watched something exciting. If you want to snack and watch a movie, pick a healthy snack. Lightly salted, air-popped popcorn, baked chips and hummus, guacamole, or salsa, or a platter of fresh vegetables and tahini or tzatziki sauce, are all great choices. The size of the container you eat out of also impacts how much you consume. One study published in The FASEB Journal back in 2006 found that those who ate out of a larger plate ate more than out of a smaller one. Lastly, don’t have the junk food in plain sight. A little in the house is okay. Everyone cheats now and then. Research shows occasional cheating with portion control is far better than trying to stick hardcore to a diet. You are liable to binge on junk food in the latter case, sooner or later. But a Cornell University study found that we are more likely to choose the first thing we see over any other choice, like the fifth. Keep the healthy snacks at eye level and you are liable to choose those over not-so-healthy ones.