Maybe our eyes really ARE bigger than our stomachs. An old trick we’ve heard of forever is using a smaller plate. It turns out that some studies show that the size of our serving dish really does affect how much we eat.
In one study they found that when they gave a group of kids an 8 oz. bowl, the kids ate one bowlful. When they gave them a 16 oz. bowl, the kids poured and ate twice as much — still one bowlful.
So do we just keep eating as long as there is food? In one really interesting study, someone came up with a bowl that automatically refilled itself. It was pressure-fed from underneath the table and kept refilling itself as the subjects ate, without them knowing it. The 30 subjects ate 73% more soup than the 30 control subjects with regular bowls. Wonder at what point they noticed that it was taking them a very long time to eat all their soup?
Maybe the soup was tasty, but another test used stale popcorn. People ate 34% to 45% more popcorn when it was in a bigger container — as in the gigantic buckets they use at movie theaters — than when it was in a regular large container. There wasn’t even a significant difference between the people who ate good, fresh popcorn, and those who had the stale stuff.
So lets haul out this old trick and use it. Put the mammoth dinner plates in the back of the cabinet and get out the smaller salad plates. By the way, I have a set of vintage Fiestaware dinner plates — and they are dwarfed by the current plates. That proves, I think, that people used to be in the habit of eating smaller portions.
Set the table with the smaller dishes and turn off the television. Make dinner an event, and enjoy every mouthful of your food. You will feel more satisfied than if you just stuff yourself mindlessly — and you’ll on your way to establishing another good, healthy habit that will lead you beyond gorgeous.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown