Here’s a great article from a friend of mine and fellow nutrition enthusiast Stacey Yunger on a great topic regarding portion control. Enjoy!
Everyone loves to talk about food and exercise when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, but there’s more to the equation than what you put into your mouth and how many times a week you hit the gym. How about asking yourself about how you eat your food? What color are your plates? How big are they? How thick is the border? Does your food cover the rim of the plate when you serve yourself a meal? These are important questions to ask as new studies have brought forward the idea that portion sizes could be deceiving depending on the plates you are using.
The Delboeuf illusion plays a role in how people perceive the relative size of concentric shapes. This can easily be related to food portions depending on the plates it is presented on. We may under or over estimate the amount we are eating. This is where the color, design, plate size and rim size come into the picture. When food is served on a larger sized plate the portion appears to be smaller than it actually is leading us to believe we could eat more. On the other hand, serving that identical sized portion on a smaller plate allows us to feel like we are getting more and in turn leaves us more satisfied. As soon as we are given larger plates, bowls, or even glasses it has been proven that we are predisposed to eating more, so how can we fix this?
Look in your cupboards. The best plates have a raised, wide rimmed border. This forces you to fill only the inside of your plate with food, which helps to keep portions under control. Also, having a design on the border creates the visual effect that food “doesn’t belong” there. Without even noticing, we often feel an urge to fill our plates, so why not fill them, but fill them on a smaller sized plate to help keep portion sizes under control.
This is a simple, yet easy trick to play on our minds. Go ahead and try it, see how it works for you! Do you think you can break the illusion?
Stacey is a registered dietician servicing the West Island community, always looking to contribute to improving the health and wellness of the Montreal population and Canadians. Her articles will be a regular feature on FITTNation Forum.
Trainer Profile: Kareem Rawlins
Experience Personal Training – 5 years | Nutrition Counseling – 3 years | Group Fitness – 3 years