4. Being fooled by snack-size treats
If you can’t stop after eating one mini portion of chips or cookies, separate them so you have a treat in your car, office desk and gym bag. In a 2008 Dutch study, 59 students were given either nine small bags of potato chips or two large bags to eat while watching TV. Participants who were encouraged to think about calories were almost twice as likely to eat chips from the small bags and, if they did, to eat twice as much as those munching from the big bags. “Small bags seem innocent, so people let their guard down and don’t monitor how much they eat,” explains lead researcher Rik Pieters, a marketing professor at Tilburg University.