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How to eat less (without even realizing it)

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Summer is finally just around the corner, which means many of us will pay extra attention to what we eat to feel good in those swimsuits.

But there might be a better option than a traditional diet. The "Today" show points out there's an easier way to shave off a few of those extra pounds.

"Stop obsessing about food. You can peel off the pounds just thinking about the plate you use, the utensils, and even just the order of what you eat. Eat less without even realizing it."

"Today" tested the theory by giving two groups of viewers a free buffet lunch. The first group's buffet had fruit and salad at the front of the line and pasta dishes at the end and were given normal-sized plates and spoons. The second group, however, had pasta at the front and healthier dishes at the back and were given slightly larger plates and utensils.

It appears the "Today" show's experiment proved a point: The second group with the larger plates ate 56 percent more food, consuming 1,520 calories per person in pasta alone. The group with the smaller plate ate just 890 calories in pasta. People in the first group generally loaded up on more healthy stuff first, leaving less space on the plate for pasta.

Bryan Wansink, a Cornell marketing professor and the creator of MindlessEating.org, was featured on the segment. He says how much we eat has more to do with what's around us than how hungry we are or how tasty the food is.

"Six full ounces on an 8-inch plate, that looks like a really full portion. The same 6 ounces on a 12-inch plate is not even going to look like it's an appetizer."

But a writer for Real Clear Science points out other studies have found plate size had little effect on how much we eat. A 2008 study from Penn State found individuals with smaller plates took more trips to the buffet, canceling out the benefits of using a smaller plate.

Regardless of the findings, the next time you head to the buffet it probably wouldn't hurt to pay attention to the size of your plate, not just what's on it.

Join the discussion

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cherylmar16 April 23 2014 at 5:48 AM

GOSH--you mean if I eat more fruits & veggies & lean meat in reasonable portions instead of stuffing myself to bursting on fried foods, sweets & pasta I'll lose weight? WHO KNEW!!

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lcarney7summitst April 23 2014 at 10:14 AM

I also feel like keeping a food,water and exercise journal is really helpful, especially if you are someone who eats without really paying attention to your consumption habits. It takes time to change into a healthier person. Just like it takes time to become over-weight and out of shape. Take control, be accountable to Yourself, commit to it everyday and do your best for that day. When you start feeling and seeing results, treat yourself to a facial, cute new shoes,something that makes you feel pretty. And just keep doing it. I have been doing this and the smaller plates, smaller bowls too and it works. We all want and deserve to feel and look our best, it takes our own participation to make it happen.

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siouxmurphy April 23 2014 at 10:35 AM

As I sit here reading all the nasty, lofty, failed attempts at being cleaver .......
it's not hard to see where our children get their Bullying from. They will never grow up
until they see adults doing it. Hiding behind our keyboards isn't going to achieve it.

This article was meant to be a tool that some may not have thought of. A simply trick that helps trick the mind into thinking your satisfied while saving you extra calories.

When did we begin to take so much pride in putting others down? If you don't have this problem, does this article really bother you? If it does, maybe you should be asking yourself why.

Good luck to those who implement this idea. It's a hard journey but you can do it.

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patty dukes April 23 2014 at 10:53 AM


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drbloodassoc1 April 23 2014 at 10:54 AM

Just a little self esteem and stay away from "Obese Buffets ", our my mission in life.


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Sidney Cohen April 23 2014 at 11:39 AM

eat less, carbs make sugar, eat less carbs and less sugar.eat plenty salads

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WilsonAir April 23 2014 at 12:24 PM

Gee, what would have happened if they just changed the size of the plates and left the lineup of the food the same? The study was completely flawed.

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Vocem Meam April 23 2014 at 1:14 PM

If you drink plenty water before every meal, you won't over eat. Sometimes when you're dehydrated, you will feel "hunger" even though it's not time to eat. People don't drink enough water and so they over eat. But don't over drink at one sitting- that could be dangerous too.

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1 reply
puff13puffpass Vocem Meam April 23 2014 at 1:30 PM

20 minutes before, that is the amount of time for the signal to get to your head after you eat.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
puff13puffpass April 23 2014 at 1:32 PM

Water 20 minutes before times a meal, put your fork DOWN between bites, chew 10 to 20, salad first always, just watch the dressing

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Ricardo April 23 2014 at 1:36 PM

Just learn from the Japanese people.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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