They may sound too simple to make much difference, but you’d be surprised at the impact they can have.
Make it a Meal. For example don’t eat standing at the kitchen counter or on the run. Set a plate at the table, sit down and pay attention to your meal. Appreciate the aroma, how it looks, really enjoy the flavors. When you do this you register it as a meal versus a snack and that makes a difference!
Slow Down. This tip follows along with the first one: Don’t scarf down your food like someone is chasing you! When you eat too quickly, you don’t allow your brain a chance to register that you have eaten and satisfied your hunger. It may take up to 20 minutes for the brain to realize that you’re full. A review of 23 studies found that fast eaters were approximately twice as likely to be obese, compared to slow eaters.
Plate Size. Some studies recommend choosing a salad plate rather than a dinner plate. It is a simple way to control portions. Just going from a 12″ plate to a 10″ plate resulted in a 22% decrease in calories. It is an illusion but if it helps you believe you are eating more than you really are, it’s worth it. Also if the food portion is very large to begin with, you will eat more of it because you don’t notice yourself making a dent in the meal until a lot has been consumed.
Plate Color. The color of your plate can make a difference as well. In one study, when the color of a participant’s plate matched the color of their food, they served themselves almost 30% more because when the color of your food blends in with the color of your plate, the amount of food doesn’t appear to be as large.
Fork Size. Use a dinner fork rather than a smaller dessert fork. A 2011 study found participants who ate with larger forks left significantly more food on their plates than those who ate with smaller forks, leaving an average of 7.91 ounces of food compared to 4.43 ounces. Those who ate with larger forks became satisfied more quickly and ate less than those who ate with smaller forks. This is a visual cue – the small fork gives a feeling that you are not making much progress in satisfying your hunger, which results in more consumption compared to when you have a large fork.