The Psychology of Plate Size and Weight Loss


Smaller Plate for Smaller Portions

The core of a lifestyle change is psychological in nature.  One of the simplest “life hacks” for the weight-loss world is to change to a smaller plate size. That way the plate will look fuller. This tricks the brain into eating less, and feeling more satisfied with less food, because it does not really think it is being denied a normal portion.  It also solves the “clean your plate” hang-up nicely, because with a smaller plate, it doesn't break the caloric bank to eat all of your food.  Conversely, a small portion on a large plate will leave the eye, as well as the stomach and brain, hungry for more.

Another interesting trick is done with silverware.  Baby spoons should be de rigeur for ice cream and the consumption of any food where limited consumption desired.  The smaller utensil satisfies the oral habit and provides just as much time for savoring, but with less intake. No, it doesn't work if you have multiple helpings of a sweet treat.

This reverse psychology also works with cups and bowls, and with packaged foods as well.  For cups, it is not tough to trick oneself out of an oversized latte by purchasing a smaller cup size.  Even better, order a plain Cup of Joe and use low-fat milk and honey.  This helps people also who are trying to cut down on sweetened drinks, even diet drinks.  And, the smaller treat will do just as well as the larger one.. just make certain your intake is sips not gulps. 

Thinking about packaging is a no-brainer.  There should be no missing of the facts. If one is on their second portion of chips, they had to open a second bag. Additionally, family-size bags of chips and snacks can allow for unthinking habitual snacking, especially if you're eating distracted in front of the TV or computer.  There's simply no way to keep track of number of servings, or the whole lot of damage that can be done to an otherwise healthy diet. So, if you buy larger packages to save money, divide them into realistic individual-serving sizes when you get home. 

Feel free to buy big bags of vegetables, though.  It is tough to break the caloric bank eating fresh spinach or homemade kale chips, and if one should be thoughtlessly snacking, smaller servings are the ticket to psychological success.

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