It’s that time of the year again when we spend quality time with our families and enjoy delicious home cooked meals. So, to avoid overeating this festive season we have a simple tip from Tom Rath, the author of EAT, MOVE, SLEEP…
“When food is served family style, from large plates, bowls or platters placed in arms reach, people simply eat more. One study found that women eat about 10% more. Men move even faster through their first helping and eat an additional 29% if the dish is on the table instead of on the counter.
Family style starts out with good intentions. When you prepare a meal for a group, you fix more food to make sure there’s enough for everyone. But the large serving plates moving around the table create peer pressure. Everyone feels obligated to take a sample of each item to avoid offending the chef. Then everyone sits around with more food within reach making it far too easy to grab seconds or even thirds.
To avoid eating more food than you need, leave serving plates in the kitchen, on a counter or anywhere else that requires people to stand up and leave the table for another helping. This will allow your family and friends to be selective and take only really what they want. It should also keep them from eating too much and becoming uncomfortably full.
Once you move the serving plates off the table, you might notice that people are less likely to get up and grab seconds or thirds. Some people will remain seated just to avoid the perception of overeating. Others will stay seated simply because getting up requires effort. Either way, sit back and watch how you’ve channeled social pressure in a positive direction.”