Remember when your mum used to tell you to clean your plate at dinner when you were a kid? Turns out, that wasn’t the best advice. Gobbling down everything might set you up for a fatter future, a new study from the UK’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society.
Researchers asked almost 1000 adults about their eating habits and found that people who cleared their plates most frequently were significantly more likely to be overweight than those who left a few bites.
The reason seems pretty obvious: when you eat everything on your plate, you’re taking in more kilojoules. And when you consume more kilojoules, you’re more likely to start packing on the kilos.
“Some of us learned the habit as children,” says study author Dr Eric Robinson. “Or we might feel obligated not to waste any food, either for financial or moral reasons.”
Polishing your plate isn’t necessarily a problem if you put the right amount of food on it. But that’s not usually the case. In fact, a Cornell study found that people dole out 52 per cent more food when they’re serving themselves on larger plates compared with smaller ones. And that equated to 45 per cent more food down their gullets.
So take control at home by serving yourself, then you can eat every morsel off your plate guilt-free.
But when your dish is filled to the brim, you’ll need to break your must-eat-it-all habit. The best way: look at the overset as tomorrow’s lunch. You won’t be wasting food, and you’ll save a few bucks.
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