Posts Tagged “plate sizes”

Israeli Scientists Debunk The Smaller Meals Myth?

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Israeli Scientists Debunk The Smaller Meals Myth?

If you ever tried to lose a few pounds — which is nearly everyone — a smaller meal with greater frequency strategy for dieting is a common way to combat conventional diets. In fact, some argue that it’s not about calories but metabolism and keeping your intake consistent and steady throughout the day.

But a study published in the medical journal Appetite by Dr. Tzvi Ganel of the Laboratory for Visual Perception and Action in BGU’s Department of Psychology and BGU PhD student Noa Zitron-Emanuel found that when people are hungry, or food-deprived, they’re more likely to identify a portion size accurately, no matter how it is served.

I am not one who is quick to question scientific research with a simple anecdotal evidence for obvious reasons. First, anecdotal evidence is the least reliable of all evidentiary candidates. We often misrepresent, intentionally or not, what we’re recalling. Then there’s the problem of just being wrong about our recall, actually depicting an event and its particulars which turn out to be flat wrong, or wildly inaccurate.

About Diane Israel.

Controlled studies, on the other hand, take out human bias, and thus provide more objective and reliable reporting. What this means is that there’s every reason to trust controlled studies over anecdotal evidence, which is why it is so odd about what I’m going to say. I simply do not, and never have been able to apportion my plate to my level of hunger. Never! So does this mean that I’m some sort of outlier like the Israeli researchers would strongly suggest? Could be.

Or maybe something else is going on which can explain my personal experience in a way that does comport with the research. And it’s pretty simple.

While I may not deviate by how much I load up my plate, I can control the amount I actually eat. Not because I have awesome discipline but rather because my biological indicators do it for me. And I’m no outlier here. The reason is simple. I tend to feast or famine with my daily caloric intake. If I’m really focused, I can go almost an entire day without eating. When I stop I then notice very quickly how hungry I am and will eat anything in site to address a totally out of whack metabolism. This explains why I will fill my plate regardless of how hungry I am. It’s because I’m almost always very hungry because I don’t eat frequent meals. I often (not recommended) eat one meal per day.

Yet there’s a real possibility that I am misreporting my plate filling habits. In the coming weeks, I’m going to pay closer attention to this and then report back. After all, anecdotal evidence is unreliable.

It should be interesting.

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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