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Why You Eat More of Small Food Items

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Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

You could be gaining weight because you are deceiving yourself about how much you are eating. And many food manufacturers are taking advantage of this situation. Have you ever bought a 100-calorie snack pack? Did you stop at eating one snack pack? Many times, its the little things that destroy our eating goals for the day.

According to the Journal of Consumer Research, we are easily deceived when it comes to food labels. We will eat more of a food if we believe it’s a “small” portion.

First, you must determine how many calories you need each day to reach your weight loss and fat loss goals. You need this road map or you will fail.

If your basal metabolic rate is 1,800 and you use another 800 calories through exercise and daily activity, your base caloric daily needs are 2,600. If you consume 2,200 calories during the day, you would have a caloric deficit of 400. This will cause you to lose weight for the day. It is important not to starve your body or you will get the opposite effect of what you want. Starvation will cause your body to conserve energy and store fat. Eating 1,000 calories a day is starvation mode for your body.

Next, how do you track your daily caloric intake? This is where the problems often occur (food content is also high on the list). Overeaters have problems with portion size.

Authors Nilufer Z. Ayinoglu from Koç University in Istanbul, and Aradhna Krishna from University of Michigan found that inconsistent portion sizes contributed to people's uncertainty about the appropriate amount to eat. "In this context of large portion sizes and consumer uncertainty about appropriate food intake, we show that size labels chosen by food and drink vendors (such as 'small-medium-large') can have a major impact on consumers' purchase and consumption behavior," the authors wrote.

"As such, food providers' choice of size labels has many potential legislative and liability-related implications."

When people consumed a large item that was labeled "small," they felt less guilty; the authors called this effect "guiltless gluttony."

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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