Forum: Advice / Health & Nutrition

Dieting things that make no sense (karma: 3)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:32 AM
Edited by Louise (29559) on 2013-03-13 11:32:27
Edited by Louise (29559) on 2013-03-13 11:33:20

I was going to put this in the low-fat thread but it became a slight rant so I thought I'd put it somewhere new and give others a chance for a wee rant also.

So a friend finds this meal planner in a magazine and wants to know whether it looks 'faddy' or not. It's your usual load of avocado on toast, chicken and steamed vegetables, blah de blah. That's not what the thread is about - what got me was this:

Snacks - choose two snack items per day when desired:
One hard boiled egg
Handful of almonds
10 cherry tomatoes
Carrot and celery sticks dipped in houmous
One pear, sliced...


I stopped there. And I realised I've read this in the snack section of every single diet or meal plan I've ever seen.

Does the pear become magically more healthy when a knife has passed through it? Does the cold steel strip the juicy flesh of excess fat and sugars? Have I been eating fruit incorrectly my entire life? Does an apple, nectarine or banana need to be sliced before it's nutritionally valid? Has every peach I've ever eaten been null and void due to its crude, spherical form? Do you become the shape of the food you eat, making slices the presentation du jour for fashionable skinny types? Forget the KFC, is it really the bulbous whole pear that's been making me a chubby chubster?!?!

WHY DOES IT MATTER IF IT'S SLICED OR NOT?!

13 Replies to Dieting things that make no sense

re: Dieting things that make no sense
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 05:37 PM
My guess is that by seeing it sliced it makes you feel like you're eating a bit more because it looks like more, so you are then tempted to eat less.

I could be wrong, but that's what makes sense to me.
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 05:45 PM
Maybe the thought is that if you eat slices you will eat them at a slower pace. A few slices the get up and do something else, and repeat. Your stomach will register that it's full with the same amount of food. Vs eating the whole pear in one sitting. My mom was on a diet that told her to chew her food in a weird way to take longer to eat. It was weird but I don't know just a guess.
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 05:47 PM
^ I spose that makes sense, but on the other hand if you slice it you remove the core and pips and stuff (or stone if it's a nectarine/peach) so wouldn't it look like less food than a whole fruit sitting there?
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 06:28 PM
To be totally honest, almost all dieting things make no sense to me.
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By SoClassy
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 06:47 PM
Maybe it's more of something that makes the advice look more substantial? Rather than say, "Eat a pear" which seems rather obvious since fruits and veggies are often a pretty big part of diets, they say, "Thinly slice a pear" so that it looks like they're actually giving you something you didn't already know. Even though...they're not. Don't you just love diet advice?
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By califeisgirl
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 06:56 PM
The action of slicing burns off enough calories to cancel the sugar in the fruit...obviously.

I honestly have no clue. To me, eating the whole fruit would take more time. With slices I can eat with one hand, work with the other. With a whole piece of fruit, I generally find myself taking a bite, putting it down, doing something, reaching for it again...etc, but maybe I’m weird.

Maybe its a digestion thing? Or it could just be that magazines tend to hand hold their readers so they don’t get 270 calls from people wondering if the fruit should be sliced cause that’s the way it was in the picture! Because that actually does happen. If we are talking snacks, some people prefer sliced since it is easier to eat, and therefore less likely to pass it over when they need a quick fix at a desk? So, like, you’re supposed to by three pears, slice them into bags and put them in the fridge so they are on hand, thus ridding yourself of excuses?

I did some rough google searching and found no answers. Looks like you’re the only one on to this Louise. Maybe it is just some major alliance between fruit growers and knife manufacturers
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 07:15 PM
Maybe they think we're not smart enough to think of maybe slicing it ourselves without being told. Since we're obviously not smart enough to manage our own diets without instructions. It's all insulting.

Like the soup cans that say "open can, heat over medium heat, serve hot". Well, der, no, I'm going to heat it up then let it get cold and then eat it. And actually, I think I'll eat the can, you know without opening it. /eye roll

kk~
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By Niennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 07:16 PM
My old nutritionist mentioned to me once that bad eating habits aren't just related to mental habits and cravings, but also to physical habits. Some people who are anxiety-over eaters, she said, eat as much to have something to do with their hands as anything. It's sort of like smokers, who become addicted to the action of smoking.

Over-eating usually involves some type of over-snacking, so I would say the thinly sliced pear thing is so you can eat it and, especially if you're pre-occupied, it will feel similary to mindless munching on things like chips or candy. It takes longer to eat and you can eat it mindlessly without it being super bad for you.

This is probably mostly pseudo-science, but in my weight loss efforts I have taken to pre-slicing fresh fruit and veggies, mostly because it makes it easier to eat at work.
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By ChristinePremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 07:25 PM
I used to wonder about the same thing. I finally concluded that the molecules along the cut edge must emit a "fat attack" substance that bind to fat in the gut.

It is the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

For a while I considered the "drip factor" of whole fruit: Perhaps the pear juice that may dribble down one's chin might be absorbed through the skin and trigger a subcutaneous geometric increase in blood sugar but I've seen so many sloppy eaters of sliced fruit, I rejected that theory in short order.

There are a few other interesting elements on this list. A handful of almonds, for example. A pear has about 85 calories, so a handful of almonds = 18 nuts? My husband's handful is much more than 18, but again, there must be something magical about the way handling food impacts the caloric value. And a hard boiled egg, although nutritionally dense, has 210. Pears are really the big mystery here. I think two and a half pears, sliced of course, would be considered a rather large snack.

Then again, this is all math, or maths, so it's no wonder I'm confused.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Dieting things that make no sense (karma: 1)
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 07:29 PM
Oh, wait, I forgot. Of course. It's my mom's old theory. Broken cookies have no calories. When they are broken, the calories fall right out. Must be the same with slicing pears. When they are cut, poof, the calories fall right out. Ding!

kk~
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By SoClassy
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 09:04 PM
kandykane wrote:

Oh, wait, I forgot. Of course. It's my mom's old theory. Broken cookies have no calories. When they are broken, the calories fall right out. Must be the same with slicing pears. When they are cut, poof, the calories fall right out. Ding!

kk~


Who cares what science says? Broken cookies have no calories, small slivers of chocolate cake don't matter, a bite of pie is really the same as eating nothing, a green jello counts as salad.
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 09:55 AM
I think its meant to be a psychological trick. Slicing up your food is prepping it, prepping it is effort, and traditionally people give more thought to food that required effort, rather than just grabbing it and scoffing it down.

I also think its a valid theory that picking each individual slice up with your hands off a plate can you lead you to feeling like you've had enough sooner, rather than later. You're not likely to think twice about grabbing a second pear and eating it after you've scoffed the first one as it was, but if you went to the effort of slicing it and presenting it on a plate, you might feel slightly more away of gluttony having to repeat that process and decide you actually don't want a second helping after all.

Its not a great example, but when I was 16 I decided I wanted to lose my baby fat. I had this one medium sized lunch box and anything I wanted to eat had to fit in there, so I slice up everything, from biscuits to fruit. For some reason, at the end of the day, there was always stuff left over in my slice up lunchbox. It just made it seem as though I'd eaten more than I had for some reason. I guess the tiny pieces kept my fingers and mouth occupied for longer. :P
re: Dieting things that make no sense
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 01:07 PM
Well I frequently eat pears whole but if I were in an office snackin I wouldn't probably slice it...pears can be quite juicy and nothing is more annoying than having juice dripping on your chin wrecking your makeup and making you sticky.

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