SHARE a bag of popcorn on the sofa seems to be the best way to snack while trying to lose weight.
But an expert has revealed that this habit may do more harm than good.
Nükhet Taylor, assistant professor of marketing at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, says it’s safer to feed yourself after proving the theory in a series of experiments.
She and her colleagues found that when people share food, they undervalue calories they are eating.
Not only do they perceive food to be less fatty, but they also eat more and can make the condition worse food selection the rest of the day.
Dr. Taylor says Time: “When we see food on the shared plate, we still understand how many calories we are consuming, but we do not think that those calories will affect our waistline.
“In other words, because the shared plate does not belong to us, it is a shared plate for others, we believe that whatever we eat from that plate will not affect their weight. I.
“This in turn makes us want to eat more, because there are no consequences for our food consumption.”
People don’t feel as though they “own” the food when they share it, the researchers say, and this causes them to “mentally cut calories from their consequences”.
Sharing food is one of the most important parts of socializing, whether it’s fries at a restaurant or sweets at the movie theater.
But Dr Taylor said it could be “problematic” for people looking to lose weight “because we end up consuming more calories”.
The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, included three experiments with 719 people
In one experiment, people were shown pictures of french fries and asked to imagine themselves eating 10 fries.
People who ate on a shared plate found the fries to be 15% less fattening than those who ate the same amount from a separate plate.
Those who ate in a shared plate found that fries were 18 percent less fattening than those who ate them all alone.
This is despite the fact that there is no difference in the actual calories people say they think the chips contain in each situation.
And it’s not just the addictive junk food that’s the problem.
The same amount of almonds is said to be 22% less fattening when shared with a friend, compared to an individual portion.
Test participants were also given M&M chocolate, which they found was 20% less fattening when eaten in a communal bowl than when eaten alone.
In the final experiment, participants had to imagine being at a McDonald’s and eating a shared box of chicken nuggets.
They were then asked, after eating the nuggets, to choose a dessert – an apple slice or a cream puff pastry.
Those who “shared” nuggets were 13% more likely to choose the calorie-dense ice cream than those who imagined eating their own nuggets.
Dr Taylor said people were using “mental computation”.
She says that people always have a “mental budget” in mind about how many calories they can consume each day to maintain their weight.,
But when sharing foods that are supposed to be less fattening, people don’t include them in their mental food budgets.
Next time you go out to eat, maybe you should order that side yourself.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8200326/why-should-never-share-snacks-diet-weight-loss/ I’m a Doctor and Here’s Why You Should NEVER Share Diet Snacks