A study published in Food, Quality and Preference shows that eating a smaller portion of a snack food may be just as satisfying as a larger portion.
The study included 104 adults who were given small and large portions of three common snacks—chocolate, apple pie, and potato chips. Those who ate large portions consumed 77% more calories than those who ate small portions. Yet, despite consuming substantially more calories, hunger pangs of people eating large portions decreased by the same amount as those eating small portions. In both conditions, craving tendencies were significantly decreased 15 minutes after eating.
“This research supports the notion that eating for pleasure—hedonic hunger—is driven more by the availability of foods instead of the food already eaten,” said Brian Wansink, Professor of Economics and a co-author of the study. “Just a bit satisfies, not magnifies, hunger and craving tendencies for snacks.”