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Use Portion Control and Don't Fill Whole Plate

Smarter Eats: Don't Fill Your Whole Plate

While researching what diet trends emerged during the 1960s (aka the Mad Men era), I was struck with how portion size has steadily increased over the last 50 years. Almost all of the dinner plates I spotted in vintage ads, cookbooks, and commercials were the size of a modern-day appetizer or salad plate. Our grandmothers were eating off of dinner plates that were roughly two inches smaller in diameter than the ones that sit in our own cabinets. And while two inches might not seem like a lot, it equals about 30 percent more food!

The thing is, you probably don't need that extra food. In Mindless Eating ($10), author Dr. Brian Wansink explores, in part, the psychology of dinner plates. He was able to prove with some pretty convincing data and research that food intake is greatly affected by the size of the plates and bowls we use. We've been taught to clean our plates, and often finish our food before that "full feeling" even has a chance to reach us.

The next time you've made a meal, put less on your plate. Or, even better, buy smaller plates. Look for dinner plates that range somewhere between eight and 10 inches — chances are, you'll still feel satisfied once your plate is clean. And if you're looking for some guidance or online support, join the Small Plate Movement, whose goal is to help people reduce their portion sizes, while also being mindful of eating habits.

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100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 6 years
* betwn each bite I meant
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 6 years
this is GOLDEN advice. I eat off of the already portioned kiddie plates. The big portion is loaded with green veggies, smaller is protein and other is a starch! also if you eat with smaller utensils you eat slower and that lets your body tell your brain "STOP! i'm full" (which takes about 20 minutes). You know how much food we normally scarf down in that time?? Or just put the fork down in between each meal!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 6 years
I don't actually have big plates here used for eating from. The platter size plates are usually used as plates we use on the holidays for people to serve themselves from but not eat from. The regularly used plates are the right size for just enough food without overdoing it.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 6 years
I have a little glass bowl that I always try to use when serving myself anything that can be served in a bowl. It's especially good for cereal, because the line of flowers around the outside mark 1 3/4 cups, perfect for cereal. :) I've taken to using the smaller plates when dishing up dinner and my mother-in-law (who have moved in with us) tend to poke fun at me for it. Honestly, I'd rather use a smaller plate and have to make the effort to come back for seconds than to just shovel food in my face. I'm able to brush it off by realizing that I'm talking to a woman who likes "down home" type of cooking and is... rather large and only maintains enough energy to work. If she isn't at her job, isn't doing laundry or isn't cooking, she's passed out on the couch - that's not the life I want to live and I worry about her every day! Fortunately, the dish set we're looking at building for using when we move into a house later this year has smaller plates.... :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I always scale back recipes so I'm only cooking enough portions for however many people I'm cooking for. I only make full versions of recipes for girls' night! It eliminates the issue of portion control.
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