How to Eat Less by Using a Bigger Fork
When it comes to learning how to eat less, can a bigger fork really help you with portion control? BistroMD's expert explains how.
Here is something you may have never thought of when it comes to how to eat less: use a bigger fork.
In the world of eating utensils, the fork can often represent the international symbol of stuffing our faces.
Most people would think that the bigger the fork, the more tempting it would be to eat larger portions. In all actuality, this isn’t the case.
“Using a bigger fork can actually help you teach yourself how to eat less,” says Christy Zagarella, MS/RD and one of the lead dietitians for BistroMD. “It all has to do with how we perceive the portion sizes on our fork.”
Other than using a bigger fork, there may be other ways to decrease your portion size when it comes to learning how to eat less. Our expert explains whether using a bigger fork is better, and reveals other ways you can practice eating smarter portions.
The Big Fork Experiment
The sight of our meals matters, but what about each bite? In order to see if “bite sizes” matter, business researchers at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, conducted an experiment at a local Italian restaurant.
“In order to test their theory, researchers randomly selected tables to receive either unusually large forks or unusually small forks,” says Christy. “They also weighed each plate before it left the kitchen and after it came back to measure the results.”
The results conclusively showed that customers who were given the bigger forks ate less.
“The bigger fork versus the smaller fork has a lot to do with overall satisfaction,” says Christy. “The visual cue of the smaller fork indicated to customers that they weren’t receiving enough to eat, so they kept eating more, whereas the larger fork had the opposite effect.”
Will a Bigger Fork Really Help You Eat Less?
We’ve all been told that bigger isn’t always better, but can the same be said for this experiment? Can using a bigger fork or placing your food on a larger plate actually encourage you to eat less?
“Although the customers who used the bigger fork ate less, portion size should also be considered,” says Christy. “Sometimes, people who are served a larger portion will just continue to eat more and more, especially if they don’t see a significant dent made in their food.”
In theory, eating with a bigger fork will help you eat less, but it is not a healthy eating tool that you want to rely on constantly. It’s more important to learn the basics of portion control, rather than carrying a mammoth fork around with you 24 hours a day.
“The bigger fork may also encourage people to eat less only when their goal is to eat a meal to satisfy their hunger,” says Christy. “Another important thing to keep in mind is eating between meals. When university students were given the same experiment during snack time with a pasta salad, the students with the larger fork tended to eat more, just because they felt like they had to.”
Whatever the scenario, it’s important that you are knowledgeable about the proper portion sizes and serving sizes if you are trying to eat healthy. You should also never “stuff” yourself silly if you are hungry. If you feel satisfied, then it’s best that you stop eating right then and there.