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Mindless Eating Explained

A lot of us have the tendency to overeat. One of the major culprits is plate size. We tend to eat more than we should when eating off a big plate rather than a smaller plate. Brian Wansink author of Mindless Eating explains that fifty years ago, when Americans were a lot skinnier, plates were considerably smaller. Large plates and bowls lead to over eating for the same reason giant popcorn buckets do: they make portions look smaller. Short, wide drinking glasses have a similar effect. The New York Times recently ran an article on this very concept and Dr. Wansink, which showed the image on the right that, illustrates how our minds cannot decipher portion sizes properly.

Fit's Tip: If you feel like you're guilty of overeating, you may want to take a good look at your plate size. Try switching to the smaller plates in your set for a week and see where that gets you. This image makes me a believer and I bet you'd eat less for that week.

For a real challenge,

The purpose of The National Mindless Eating Challenge is to get support from Dr. Wansink directly. When you join the challenge they will ask you questions about yourself, your goals, and your lifestyle. Based on your answers they will then suggest small changes to your home or behavior that are most relevant. You will also then be given a Mindless Eating Daily checklist to keep track of your progress. They'll periodically check in on your progress (through email). At the end of the month, they'll ask you how things went and they'll suggest some new changes to consider for the next month, oh and it's FREE. It's like free food counseling. Interested? Then start the challenge here or buy the book ($15.75) from

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