For a long time, we’ve all been told that one of the keys to eating less is to eat more slowly. But could cutting up our food into smaller pieces work too?

New research says it can.

In an experiment, Arizona State University researchers gave 300 college students either a whole bagel or the same bagel cut up into four separate pieces. Then, 20 minutes later, the participants ate lunch.

While the researchers found that people in both groups ate the same amount of each bagel, the students that ate the segmented bagel ate about a quarter less at lunch than those who ate the bagel when it was presented whole. Later tests with animals also produced similar results.

The conclusion? According to lead study author Devina Wadhera, “Cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control.”

[ABC News]