The effect that dinnerware size has on your serving behavior is significant. Yes, plates are making you gain weight!
Let’s look at history for a moment… In the United States, the average dinner plate used to measure approximately 9.6 inches in the 50’s, 11 inches in the 80’s, and up to 13 inches now – not to mention the platters. Research shows that since 1900 our dinner plates have “grown” approximately 35.4%.
Let’s take a closer look at what this size increase does to the average person. Three different independent studies found that when given larger plates, all participants served themselves somewhere between 27.8% to 32.5% more food. If a plate is “encouraging” you to consume an extra 50 calories per day, simple math tells us that one will gain approximately 5 extra pounds per year.
Most people are unaware of the impact that dinnerware is having in serving behavior. Most interesting is also the fact that researchers found that the decrease in food intake by using a smaller plate may not lead to decrease in satisfaction. People feel satisfied in having a full plate of food, even if that plate is smaller.
Thus, here is one important weight-loss hack… Start using side plates and smaller bowls! Another fun tip suggested by the same Oxford study is to use plates and bowls that contrast with the color of the food being served and a tablecloth in the same color as the plates. Think that sometimes it is easier to make small changes in our environment than in our mind but that could be critical for many.