Crunchy foods, like carrots or celery, are good. Soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or cake, are bad. Does that ring true for you? New research suggests that food texture may actually influence how we perceive calorie counts. Check out the latest on how food texture can influence your weight loss.
A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that food texture may play a role in how we perceive calorie counts and, ultimately, the quantity we decide to eat of a particular food. Researchers divided participants into groups that were given brownie bits to eat. One group was only asked to consume the food. The other was asked to estimate how many calories were in the brownies before eating them. In the estimation group, those who were given harder brownie bits ate more than those given softer bits. Interestingly, people in the group that wasn’t asked to consider calories ate more of the softer pieces .
Researchers believe the connection is linked to chewing: the more we need to chew a food, the fewer calories our brains think it contains.
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Does this mean food texture and weight loss are connected?
It’s a compelling study, and its results might explain why it’s so easy to over-eat unhealthy crunchy snacks, like chips or crackers. However, perhaps the key takeaway from this research is that the participants adjusted their consumption after estimating the calorie count. So one of the simplest weight loss tips may be to think about—or, better yet, know—the calorie counts of the food you’re consuming. Here are tips to help you make this a habit:
1. Read food labels and recipe nutritional info.
Whether the food is soft or crunchy, always check out nutrition labels before putting a product in the grocery cart. Learn more in Quick Tips in Deciphering Food Labels. Additionally, some recipes, including most of those shared on SkinnyMs., offer nutritional information, which you should consider while doing meal planning.
2. Stick to portion sizes.
It’s not enough to know your calorie counts—portion size is just as important. For example, a dish might have only 250 calories per one-cup serving, but if you’re eating two cups you’re loading up with 500 calories! Know the portion size and stick to it. Check out How to Control Your Portions.
3. Keep a food journal.
Stay on top of daily calorie consumption by keeping a food journal. This will help you become more conscious of what’s going into your body so you can make healthy adjustments.
The link between food texture and weight loss is interesting, but when it comes to weight loss tips that work, perhaps the key is to THINK about the foods we’re consuming. What’s your take on this research? Feel free to share below.
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 Science Daily