HEALTHY LIVING
01/30/2013 12:45 pm ET

Trick To Stop Cravings: Take Just One Bite

Don't think you can make it through the afternoon without a french fry? Go ahead and take a bite. A new study suggests that a food craving can be satisfied with even a negligible portion.

Just a bite satisfies, not magnifies, hunger and craving tendencies for snacks,” Brian Wansink, the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “This research supports the notion that eating for pleasure -- hedonic hunger -- is driven more by the availability of foods instead of the food already eaten.”

Wansink and collaborators gave either small or large-sized snacks to 104 study participants. Those who ate the large snacks consumed 77 percent more calories, but didn't report any greater satisfaction than those who ate the small size. In fact, both groups reported the same reduction in hunger pangs and the same reduction in cravings after 15 minutes.

Another recent but unrelated study found that people who took smaller sips of broth led to 30 percent less overall consumption than those who took larger sips without less satisfaction. This new research suggests that the same may be true for bites of solid food.

“If you want to control your weight, here’s the secret: Take a bite and wait," concluded Wansink. "After 15 minutes all you’ll remember -- in your head and in your stomach -- is that you had a tasty snack.”

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