Taking smaller mouthfuls of food improves the taste and leads to lower levels of consumption, food scientists at Wageningen University have found.
Tests with tomato soup showed that volunteers who used a small spoon ate up to 25% less than those using a large one.
The smaller mouthfuls were coupled with greater appreciation of the taste which plays an important role in triggering the feeling of having eaten enough, researcher Dieuwerke Bolhuis told the Volkskrant.
She suggests dieters not only watch the calorie content of their weekly shop, but also look at the speed at which they eat.
For example, by drinking orange juice it is easy to consume 150 calories in a minute. But eating an orange takes three times as long. ‘Eating an orange takes longer and your brain gets more stimulus to process, leading you to feel fuller more quickly,’ Bolhuis said.
Dieters should also opt for hard bread rather than soft and yoghurt rather than yoghurt drinks, both of which take longer to eat.
Food science professor Martijn Katan told the Volkskrant the research is encouraging but that more research is necessary to test the long-term effects of eating smaller mouthfuls.
Will you be testing the ‘small mouthful diet’? Have your say using the comment box below.