Size Matters

When it comes to weight loss and overeating, it’s not only important to pay attention to what you put on your plate, it turns out that it’s also worth being careful about the plate you choose to use.

Want a fairly painless weight loss tip? This one comes from Brian Wansink and the researchers at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.  They’ve found that we tend to fill the real estate on our plates rather than actually making a conscious decision about how much food we need to fuel ourselves. And once the food is on the plate, we’re more likely to eat it.  According to Wansink, we tend to eat 92% of any food we serve ourselves.

Here’s the good news: Size matters—and it can matter significantly. On average, downsizing from a 12-inch to a 10-inch dinner plate would result in an average of 22% fewer calories being served. Even better, researchers find that this difference is not drastic enough to trigger a counteracting response (sometimes when we cut back we tend to compensate by eating more of something else—this is not the case here). If a typical dinner has 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to a weight loss of around 18 lbs. per year for an average size adult.  Interested?

Wansink is the expert on Mindless Eating (and his book by the same name is one I’ve recommended before).

Here’s one more quick tip for you, courtesy of Wansink: fifty percent of the snack food bought in bulk (such as from your local warehouse club) is eaten within six days of purchase. Are those huge bags of chips still looking like such a good deal?

Take good care,


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