Portrait of young happy smiling woman eating saladSuper-sized portions are everywhere – at restaurants, schools and in the grocery store aisles. This trend has certainly distorted the way most Americans view “normal” portions and contributed to the obesity epidemic (over two-thirds of the adult population in the U.S. is overweight or obese. scary, right?).

So whether your goal is to lose weight or simply to maintain, it’s important to control portion size and the calories you consume. In a recent study, researchers found a simple way to do just that.

In this study, 301 college students were served a 3-ounce bagel, either whole or cut into pieces. After 20 minutes, they were given a subsequent meal and told they could eat as much or as little as they wanted. Researchers discovered that the students who ate the bagel whole, ate more calories (including the subsequent meal) than those students who had ate the bagel in pieces. It appears that pieces of a bagel are perceived as a larger amount of food and therefore give you a greater sense of fullness.

So next time you are about to dive in, remember to cut your food into more pieces!