If you’re like most people, you might be looking for an extra edge to help shed a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight. Well, guess what??? There’s a new magic pill to shrink you to your perfect size!!
(Sorry, that’s definitely NOT true, I just always wanted to say that! Thank you for indulging my whims!)
The truth is, we still don’t have a magic pill. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something (that won’t work). But we do have increasingly solid science about little tips and tricks that can fool your brain into thinking you are fuller on fewer calories.
Some of the best studies have been led by Brian Wansink. He directs the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and specializes in looking at how external food cues can make us overeat.
I love studies that analyze the impact of our environment on eating because they illuminate how prone we are to external influences…. Everything from plate size to what other people are eating to even the names of restaurant dishes can alter what and how much we eat.
In today’s post I want to focus on what goes on in our own homes, and what we can do to create an eating environment that helps to fill us up on fewer calories.
Here are 3 simple tips you can use to set your table for “slim”:
1) Small is beautiful. Wansink’s research showed that going from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate can reduce how much you eat by about 22%. That’s right, just using a smaller plate can fool your brain into thinking you are satisfied on fewer calories.
Same is true for smaller bowls and spoons. Smaller servings spoons were found to result in a 14% decrease in food intake, while smaller bowls led to a whopping 50% decrease in eating.
2) Out of sight, out of mouth!
Studies also found that people eat food that’s on a table much more frequently than food that’s off the table. That may seem obvious, but so many of us leave food out on the table making second and third helping much more likely. In one of Wansin’s studies men ate 29% more food when a serving dish was on the table vs. the counter. Women ate about 10% more when the serving dish was on the table. So fill your plate at the counter, then bring it to the dining table. Leave the serving dish off the table.
3) Break out the fine china!
This one may not help you feel full with less food, but it may enhance the taste of what you eat. In one study people were given brownies (all from the same batch) on a paper napkin, a paper plate, and on a beautiful piece of china. Those who ate the brownie on the china rated it much better than those who ate it on the paper napkins or plates. So you may have more satisfying meals if you do it with beautiful plate ware!
Just please don’t eat too many brownies!