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portion sizeOne of the most important ways to prevent heart disease is to maintain a healthy body weight. But with portion sizes theses days, it’s difficult to eat in a calorie-conscious mindset.

Recent studies even suggest that portion distortion begins as early as 3 years of age. But big plate syndrome follows us everywhere. Restaurants that have larger plates enable people to eat 30% to 50% more and larger-sized packages end up in having people serve themselves up to 20% to 40% more. Changing your plate size from 12 inches to 10 inches can result in eating 22% fewer calories.

The size of the food container matters. It reduces the ability for one to monitor food intake even when they’re not hungry. This holds true for the movie-goers too. During one study of popcorn eating behavior, movie—goers were given stale popcorn in two different sized containers: one large and one small. Although the participants just had lunch, those that had the large buckets ate 51% more stale popcorn than those who had the smaller buckets.

And you can’t get away from the thought that a full jar of candy is tempting. In fact, when the candy jar was kept full in the office, more people opted for a snack. While when the same jar was left almost empty, less people opted for the sweet treat.

So what can you do to eat less and enjoy more? Think small! Buy smaller plates for home, use the smallest container when serving yourself at the buffet bar and as containers are depleted, wait to refill them until they run out. Your waistline will thank you! 

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