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Intake Control for Clean Plate Club Members

Intake Control for Clean Plate Club Members

When Leonardo DaVinci painted the Last Supper around 1492, the food on the table (including eel with orange slices) was pretty sparse and the dishes were small. But, according to a study of 52 of the best-known renditions of that occasion, the more recent paintings show entrees that are 69 percent larger than in earlier depictions and serving plates that are 66 percent larger.

Any surprise that people have gotten larger too? Seventy percent of North Americans are now overweight or obese. One reason: The super-size of your supper dishes and the heaps of food on them make it difficult to limit your intake. That’s because, according to a study—young or old, male or female, from North America or half way around the globe—most adults eat 92 percent of whatever is on their plate.

So if you’re looking to cut your calorie intake and lose weight (one pound a week), we suggest you burn an extra 200 calories a day (if you weigh 150, that’s walking three, 20-minute miles) and eliminate around 300 calories by shrinking the plate and eating leaner.

For breakfast: Use a bowl that holds 1 cup of whole-grain cereal and 1/2 cup skim milk. For supper go with a 6 to 8 inch plate; fill 1/3 with one layer of lean protein (about 3 to 6 ounces) and the rest with 1/2 to 1 cup of whole grains and around 2 cups veggies. Then, even if you clean your plate, you’ll be on track for a healthier weight, a better brain—and a much younger RealAge.

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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