On the Table
Dine Off the Salad Plates
Or use your grandmother’s china. The average size of a dinner plate has mushroomed by 23 percent since 1900, and of course the amount we put on it has ballooned, too. Cornell researchers suggest that switching from 12-inch to 10-inch plates could help you consume up to 22 percent fewer calories.
Make Your Food Look Dramatic
Plate light foods on dark tableware and dark foods on light. In a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Consumer Research, people served themselves more when their dishes matched the foods they were eating than when they were given contrasting plates. Since mashed potatoes are less noticeable on a white plate, we may pay less attention to how much we’re dishing out—and thus how much we’re consuming.
Set the Table Strategically
Leave the main serving dishes on the sideboard and put the salad on the table, since you’ll probably consume more of whatever you’re close to. In one study, people drank 81 percent more water when pitchers were placed next to them, not off to the side.