The Delights of “Eating Small”

There’s a reason why the tiny cupcakes from Baked by Melissa are so wildly popular (and it’s not just because their SoHo shop is right around the corner from our office…). Sure, they’re cute and colorful. But more importantly: enjoying a mini-treat just feels indulgent.

Cynics may question the amount of satisfaction one could gain from a treat that is one inch tall and weighs less than an ounce. But the key here is deprivation – or rather, the lack thereof. When you treat yourself to a mini cupcake, you’re happily enjoying the entire thing. You’re not reluctantly saving half for later, or taking a couple bites and staring longingly at the rest. Tiny treats allow you to feel indulged without feeling guilty. It’s a perfect recipe for satisfaction.

The New York Times does a great job explaining the psychology behind the pleasures of eating small: In the article, Dr. Brian Wansink, the author of “Mindless Eating”, states that most people will be more satisfied by a 50 calorie mini-cupcake than a dozen carrot sticks (with just as many calories), because feelings of deprivation are lessened.

Dr. Wansink does warn that it’s much easier to lose track of quantity when enjoying mini foods. It’s tougher to keep track of chicken wings than slices of pizza, he explains. This is where 80Bites comes in! As long as you have a natural sense of the quantity you’re taking in (and counting bites is a great way to start), you can savor those mini cupcakes without overeating.

It really is the little things that make life sweet!