Visceral fat is stored body fat that is built upon every time you eat. But you can serve dinner the right way to minimise this build-up – here’s how.
Not eating right will accumulate how much visceral fat is stored in your body.
This can increase a person’s risk of a whole range of health issues: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and heart disease.
What about if you eat fairly healthily? Well, there’s still a risk you’re eating far too much.
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The right way to serve dinner is on small plates – this will help to keep portion sizes in check.
Eating on a larger plate can encourage you to pile on the food – and unwanted visceral fat.
This notion is backed up by scientific evidence. Researchers at Cornell University examined whether visual cues can influence intake volume.
Using self-refilling soup bowls, 54 participants were involved in the study.
The researchers explained: “The soup apparatus was housed in a modified restaurant-style table in which two of four bowls slowly and imperceptibly refilled as their contents were consumed.”
So, as the participants ate their soup, it would slowly be refilled for them.
The results found that those who were unknowingly eating from self-refilling bowls ate more soup than those eating from normal soup bowls.
Interestingly, those who consumed more (because of the self-refilling bowls of soup) didn’t perceive themselves to feel more full than those who ate out of the normal soup bowls.
The researchers concluded: “The amount of food on a plate or bowl increases intake because it influences consumption norms and expectations.
“And it lessens one’s reliance on self-monitoring. It seems that people use their eyes to count calories and not their stomachs.”
Another study, conducted by researchers from Wageningen University, in the Neverlands, found a similar result.
In their study, 68 participants were randomly assigned to either serve pasta into a large-sized bowl or a medium-sized bowl.
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The large-sized bowl had a capacity of 6.9-L while the medium-sized bowl had a much lower capacity of 3.8-L.
The researchers found that when given a large-sized bowl, people served 77 percent more pasta than when given a small-sized bowl.
From this data, the researchers concluded that it’s important to consider the serving bowl (or plate) size.
According to Diabetes UK – the charity that recognises how visceral fat can contribute to the development of the condition – many dinner plates in the UK are up to 12 inches in diameter.
To help reduce meal size (and visceral fat levels), it’s recommended to eat off a dinner plate with a 10-inch diameter.
Additionally, the charity promotes an awareness of portion control on the plate.
It suggests making two quarters of the plate made up of non-starchy vegetables, such as carrots, bean sprouts, etc.
And for another quarter to consist of starchy foods (such as potatoes), and another quarter of protein-based foods (such as chicken).
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