Why you eat more than you think and what to do about it!

Why you eat more than you think and what to do about it!
11 May

Did you know that if you were given a large packet of pasta to cook, with a large size pasta sauce that you would eat approximately 23% more than another person who was asked to cook the same dinner but had a medium size packet of pasta with a medium size jar of sauce?

That’s approx 150 calories more- with the only difference in each scenario being what size package you were given to cook with. That seems like an unfair amount of extra calories, imagine how many times this happens in a day? And you know what else? Studies suggest you wouldn’t even notice them  if they weren’t on the plate- you would still feel as satisfied with 20% less of that meal on your plate. Stay with me here!

There have been an enormous amount of studies conducted that support these findings. Time after time. (Sorry if you now cant stop singing Cyndi Lauper 🙄 It got stuck in my head too!) Lol.

Seriously though, the bottom line of these numerous studies is this: We all, yes all of us, consume more when eating / consuming / using large packages. Whatever the product. Let me help you visualize this.

  • If you feed your dog from a large dog food bag- chances are you feed the dog more than someone who is feeding their dog the same food but just form a smaller container.
  • Use a large shampoo? Chances are you use more shampoo each time than someone using a smaller bottle of shampoo.
  • Buy  a large popcorn at the  movies- you will eat more than if you purchased the medium

The only exception to this series of research was bleach. Basically people understand that they cant use more than exactly the required amount! Or their clothes will become holy!

It comes down to the visual illusion, when we see a big packet we think its typical, normal and appropriate to mix, serve or cook with more than we would if the package was smaller. Its a consumption norm. And the biggest trap in all of this is you probably think- this doesn’t apply to me. LET ME TELL YOU  -IT APPLIES TO EVERYONE.

Visual illusions are everywhere- your dinner table, kitchen (size of bowls and plates and cups and spoons), your pantry- the placement of items, the size and the kind of packaging. Supermarkets – by bulk and save, restaurants, cafes, bars, everywhere.

This brings me to the vertical and horizontal line – most people think the vertical line is on average about 18-20% longer than the horizontal line.  They are both the same. Its a visual illusion just like the size of that packet you bought  to save money- while your intention might be great, unless you know what to do with those large packets when you get home, chances are you are eating about 20% more each time you eat from them. Remember you wont miss 20% of food from your plate and don’t forget the trap- you think it doesn’t apply to you, because you know what you are eating.

When studies are conducted on this topic, hundreds and thousands of studies in different settings, with tricks and secret bowls that keep refilling from hidden hoses under the tables – no one is exempt-
educated and healthy people in the nutrition field,  still fall into these traps – of mindless eating.
Its called Mindless Eating because we don’t think about what we are eating. We all do it, there is plenty of research on this topic, its incredible and interesting and once you know, its hard to un-know!

Here are some tips to help you become more aware of these hidden visual cues that make us eat more without even realising it!

  1. If you are going to buy bulk, once the product is home re package the product out into the right size containers.
  2. Do not eat out of a packet- put your food into a small bowl and eat from there.
  3. Cook the right amount and if batch cooking portion into containers straight away.
  4. If you buy large packets of processed snack foods repackage into individual serve sizes and put away- up high, behind healthier options- take this one step further and repackage in foil! Out of sight out of mind. Want to go even further- don’t buy it.
  5. Keep healthy nourishing food front and centre- mindlessly eat on veggie sticks not a packet of chips! Your health will thank you.

Mary-Ann Alpeche

Nutrition Coach

Our Top Tips For The Health Conscious Parent To Survive The Chocolate Egg Onslaught This Easter!

Our Top Tips For The Health Conscious Parent To Survive The Chocolate Egg Onslaught This Easter!
28 Sep

Easter time is here again! As health-conscious parents it can be a difficult time – bringing the best of us undone with chocolate in sight everywhere you look! The chocolate onslaught can feel even worse for us parents who want nothing more to spoil their kids with chocolate and Easter bunny tales, so we have put together our top tips for the health-conscious parent – you – to survive and thrive this Easter. We want to encourage you to enjoy your Easter and indulge a little while avoiding the guilt or bringing your healthy eating undone!

  1. Don’t eat chocolate before the Easter bunny comes

Eating chocolate leading up to Easter is a sure-fire way to come undone. So, by simply limiting when you can eat your chocolate is a good strategy. You don’t open Christmas presents every day throughout December, so don’t eat the eggs before Easter. There are several strategies to support you doing this, it could be buying your chocolate eggs Saturday – yep the shops may be a little more rushed but hey who cares you are a healthy eating Mumma or papa! And you will do what you have to ensure you stay healthy! You might buy them and put them up high and out of sight! Out of sight out of mind is a real thing- its science and it works.

  1. Plan Ahead!

Plan what you are going to buy before you get to the shops. And when you get to the shops stick to your plan! Don’t get sucked into the amazing marketing and shop merchandising – the stores are designed to get you to buy more, so outsmart them!

  1. Remember quality over quantity

If buying chocolate buy better quality stuff and when you eat it savour the moment, eat it slowly and enjoy. This will give you that little treat you look forward to while protecting you from over indulging.

  1. Downsize the Easter bunny’s deliveries

We get it – you love your kids! You want them to have amazing memories and enjoy the special day! Well you still can by buying so much less chocolate for them. This year we are buying our boys a couple of gifts, Pj’s, 1 bunny (small) and having an Easter egg hunt with 1 packet of small eggs. That’s it. Decide what is right for you, it might be making your own chocolate eggs, or try baking some alternative healthier chocolate treats. It could be anything you want. Get creative and make your day special – but know chocolate doesn’t have to be the special part of the day.

  1. Reframe your day

Easter eggs don’t need to stay as a high light of your family Easter. What new tradition could you start? Maybe try eating celery and carrots like a bunny would! Eat real eggs, go outdoors and get active, have a healthy picnic make art – paint eggs, draw eggs, have an egg and spoon race – the list is endless with ways to enjoy your Easter without overindulging in chocolate eggs. 

  1. Balance your kilojoule / calorie intake accordingly

Make room for some quality chocolate by reducing your meal sizes slightly or swapping a snack for a chocolate. Eat light healthy wholefoods to balance out any cheeky chocolate. Use a technique that will work for you, just make room for it.

  1. Get back to normal eating quickly

By Tuesday, even Monday return to normal eating! No more “its Easter” excuses – get straight back on track! Give away left over chocolate, put it away – hide it out of sight out of mind. Do what you have to.  And at worst if you over indulge, let it be -don’t beat yourself up – apply this same rule- get back on track quickly. Let it go and move forward and most importantly enjoy your day! 


28 Sep


Pancakes are a Sunday tradition at our place. The boys love them and I love that the husband cooks. It doesn’t get much better than happy kids, pancake aromas wafting through the house, a cooking husband and a relaxed wife, right?! Although it all quickly fades when they scream “Finished daddy!!!!!” and start running through the house with sticky hands, the kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it and we are running late for swimming lessons again! #chaos Haha!

Anyway, back to the pancakes! This recipe is super easy and very quick. But my favourite part is that they are nourishing for the boys. Made with only 3 simple and staple ingredients – quick oats, eggs and banana!

They take approx 15 minutes. 5 minutes prep time and 10 minutes cook time. Here is the recipe, we hope you enjoy them 🙂

RECIPE Serves 4


  1. 2 Ripe bananas (mashed)
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/2 quick oats
  • Extra virgin olive oil spray (just enough for a 3 second spray of the pan)


  1. Mash banana in a bowl, add in eggs and oats and mix well
  2. Lightly spray a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium heat
  3. Spoon desired amount into pan. Repeat with remaining batter
  4. Cook for 1–2 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook for 1–2 minutes or until pancakes are golden and cooked through.


  • Add your desired toppings! Some suggestions: maple syrup, berries, greek yoghurt, sliced banana, peanut butter + honey – whatever you like!
  • To increase batter volume, you can slowly add more oats in, if it gets to thick, add some milk (of choice) will help to adjust the batter consistency.

M.A xx

Nutrition Coach, Fit Bodiez