Cutting up meals into small pieces could be an effective method for losing weight, Medical News Today reported.
A study conducted by researchers at Arizona State University concluded that similarly to animals, humans find it more satisfying to eat smaller foods than one large piece with the same number of calories.
Lead author Devina Wadhera, from the department of psychology at ASU, and her colleagues based the design of their research on a previous animals study from 1989 involving rats. In that study, rats were trained in a T-maze, with small pellets in one arm of the and one large pellet in the other arm. Ultimately, the rats developed a preference for the small pellets.
In a study meant to mimic the rat study, the researchers recruited 301 college students who were split into two groups. One group was given a full, uncut bagel, the other group was given a bagel cut into four pieces.
After eating the bagel, all were given a meal and invited to eat as much as they liked. Leftovers of both the bagel and the meal were measured to determine how much the students ultimately ate
After analyzing the leftovers, Wadhera and her team found that the students who were given the full bagel ate more calories from the bagel and meal than the students who were given the cut up bagel.
According to Medical News Today, Wadhera theorized that the results showed eating food cut into smaller portions is more satisfying than eat a meal in one large piece.
The findings were presented at the 2012 meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Zurich, Switzerland.