According to the results of a recent appetizer study, the way that you start your meal can play a very important role in the amount that you will consume for the remainder of your meal. They suggested that your appetizer can help to determine the total number of calories that you will have before you stop. The research indicated that by starting off the meal on the right foot you will naturally – without even having to think about it – slash your caloric intake.
About the Appetizer Study
The results of the appetizer study were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, which occurred in at the start of August. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds.
What they found was that dieters who begin their meals by eating bread consumed an average of 21 percent more calories in their total meals than those who started their meals with a salad as their appetizer.
What the Research Involved
The appetizer study researchers gave 13 dieters the choice of having either 100 calories worth of salad or 100 calories worth of garlic bread. After that point, they were all served pizza. While both of the appetizers contained exactly the same number of calories, and the participants were required to eat their whole serving of whichever appetizer they chose, those who selected the salad ate more than a fifth less than those who opted for the garlic bread.
This was the expected result of the researchers, who felt that this type of results would occur because the salad greens were much higher in fiber.
What Does This Mean to You?
Starting your meal with food that is higher in fiber, such as a salad, can help you to achieve a feeling of being fuller more quickly. This will mean that you will consume less throughout the rest of your meal. This, according to Nicola Buckland, PhD, one of the appetizer study’s authors and a research student at the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds.
However, there was also an additional element that the researchers identified. All of the participants in the study were dieters. This meant that they were actively attempting to reduce their weights. Therefore, beyond the fact that the fiber helped to produce the sensation of being more full, by starting the meal with a healthier food, the dieters were reminded that they had weight loss goals to pursue. This helped to encourage them to make more weight loss-friendly choices during the remainder of the meal.
Enjoying Smart Meals (says this appetizer study)
A salad therefore offers you many different benefits as a start to your meal. This appetizer study shows that dieters who choose salads to start their meals will:
- Start their meal in a nutritious, high-fiber way,
- Feel fuller faster,
- Enjoy an important psychological reminder for healthy eating.
A salad helps to remind you that you are not eating to stuff yourself, but that you want to enjoy a reasonable portion of the rest of your meal in order to control your weight.
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