Can using smaller plates really help me eat less?

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You may not have noticed, but the size of your dinner plate has morphed over the past century. According to research, the size of the standard dinner plate has increased 22 percent in diameter, from about 10 inches in 1900 to almost 12 inches in 2010.

Let’s face it: the bigger the plate, the more you put on it! If you eat off of a plate that is 9 to 10 inches in diameter at your largest meal of the day, you will be shocked as to how effective this one small change can make in shrinking your waist.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
It's true: Serving your food on smaller plates can help you eat less. Research from Cornell University shows that switching from an 11-inch dinner plate to a 10-inch plate causes people to serve themselves less food. Serving meals on plates that contrast with the color of the food can also help you control your portions. In one study, subjects given a red plate and told to serve themselves pasta with marinara sauce took 18% more food than when they were given a white plate. Likewise, they piled on 18% more pasta Alfredo when they used a white plate. The researchers speculated that seeing a stark contrast on the plate makes people think before they heap on another ladle-full of food.

Your glasses matter, too: Drinking out of tall, skinny glass instead of short, wide one seems to trick some people into feeling full on fewer calories.

Just remember: There's no replacement for changing your environment to force you to make better decisions when you shop and eat if you're trying to trim down. Covering at least half of that smaller plate with vegetables is a good start.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.