Research from Pennsylvania State University found making healthier choices is more important than restricting the amount of food you eat.
"Choosing healthy, lower-calorie-dense foods [is] more effective and more sustainable than just trying to resist large portions of higher calorie options," said first author Faris Zuraikat, a graduate student in the department of nutritional sciences in a statement.
"If you choose high-calorie-dense foods but restrict the amount that you're eating, portions will be too small, and you're likely to get hungry," he said.
The research was a follow-up to a previous study that trained participants to gain control over their portions.
This time around, researchers recruited 102 women, putting them into three groups. The first group of women were obese and had not participated in the previous study. The second group were considered ‘healthy’ and the third were obese or overweight women who had participated in the previous study.
All of the women were served the same meal once a week for four weeks, with the portions increasing at random.
The results found that when presented with additional food, all of the women ate more. The difference, however, was with the women who participated in the previous study.
"The participants who went through the training consumed more of the lower calorie-dense foods and less of the higher calorie-dense foods than the untrained controls."
"Consequently, trained participants' calorie intake was less than that of the control groups, whose intake didn't differ by weight status."