When we drive from the inside (our internal locus of control) and listen to the signals of our body (leptin and grehlin, hormones responsible for our fullness and hunger cues), we appropriately begin to eat and end our meal. The beckoning of a Cinnabon at the mall doesn’t even begin to titillate our taste buds when we’re sated. We are in charge here.
Yet, external forces do thread their way onto our path at times no matter how often we tell ourselves we know when we’re full (remember last November?). I ask you, can people tell they are full if their plate never empties?
Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University did a test. He continuously refilled the bowls of soup from which his tasters supped – unknowingly to them! (They were being refilled from underneath the table.) Not only did they eat 73% more soup than others, they rated themselves at the same level of fullness. They couldn’t be full, they said – they only ate half a bowl of soup!
Remember Mama saying our eyes were too big for our stomach?
He tried another test. In Atlanta at an all-you-can-eat buffalo wing restaurant, subjects were randomly assigned to tables where either the gnawed-on bones were left on the table (so you could see how many you’d eaten) or were bussed. People ate 28% more when their bones were bussed. Those piled-up bones were not a pretty sight but were instrumental in keeping our appetite in check.
As they departed, everyone was offered a 450-calorie cookie. Only 15% of those seeing their bones took the cookie. Conversely, 85% of the people took the cookie and two-thirds of them bit right into it.
Moral of the Story: Don’t go to all-you-can-eat restaurants. Period. Our eyes deceive us. Share an entree with a fellow diner and add individual side salads. Ask that the bread offering be left on the table when your entree is served as a gentle reminder that oh yes, you really did eat 3 pieces of cheese-toasted focaccia dredged in olive oil. Even leave any appetizer dishes. Shhhh, we’re on the DL here.
From Nutrition Action Newsletter, 5/11.