5 Ways Your Plates, Glasses, Forks And Spoons Can Save You Calories

Colored glasses and cutlery on white background

  1. If you’re full, stop eating and clear your plate right away.  If it hangs around in front of you, you’ll keep picking at it until there’s nothing left. An exception – a study has found that looking at the “carnage” – the leftover bones on your plate from barbecued ribs or even the number of empty beer bottles in front of you – can serve as an “environmental cue” to stop eating.
  2. Drink from a tall, thin glass instead of a short, wide one. You’ll drink 25%-30% less. People who were given short wide glasses poured 76% more into them than people who were given tall slender glasses — and they believed that they had poured less!  Even experienced bartenders poured more into a short, wide glass than they did into a taller, thinner one.
  3. 3.   Use a (smaller) fork and knife instead of your fingers, a teaspoon rather that a tablespoon. It takes longer, requires more effort, and provides a smaller “shovel” for getting food into your mouth. Chopsticks slow you down even more. Chew your food instead of wolfing it down.  If you have to work at eating your food – cutting with a knife for instance – you’ll eat more mindfully than if you pick food up with your fingers and pop it into your mouth.
  4. Use a smaller plate. We eat an average of 92% of what we serve ourselves. We pile more food onto larger plates, so a larger plate means we eat more food. A two inch difference in plate diameter—decreasing the plate size to ten inches from 12 inches—would mean a serving that has 22% fewer calories. It’s a smaller serving but not small enough to leave you still hungry and heading back for seconds.
  5. Get those serving dishes off of the table. If most of your meals are family style with bowls and platters of food brought to the table for everyone to help themselves, keep the serving dishes off of the table and onto the counter if you want to save some calories.  When serving dishes are left on the table men eat 29% more and women 10% more than when serving dishes stay on the counter. It’s harder to mindlessly shove food into your mouth if you have to get up to get it. Sticking out your fork and shoveling more onto your plate while your butt remains firmly planted in your chair makes it far too easy to munch without much thought about the quantity of food that’s going into your mouth.

Want more tips — especially if you eat in dining halls of any kind?  Get my new book, now available on Amazon30 Ways to Survive Dining Hall and Dorm Room Food: Tips to Avoid the Freshman 15.

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