Smaller plates, bowls key to weight loss

Last Updated: Aug 07, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: You can shed unwanted pounds just by eating from smaller plates and bowls.

"People don`t think that something as simple as the size of a bowl would influence how much an informed person eats," said Brian Wansink, psychologist at Cornell University who led the study.

"Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we`re full. The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you," Wansink said.

Several studies have borne out Wansink`s findings, including his study of 168 movie goers, who ate either fresh or stale popcorn from different size containers, according to a Cornell University statement.

This strategy also applies to what we drink. Wansink`s research found that people pour about 37 percent more liquid in short, wide glasses than in tall, skinny ones of the same volume.

Even a kid`s cereal bowl can be a trap, according to Wansink. A study showed, children of different weights who were given a 16 ounce bowl were more likely to serve themselves twice as much cereal than children given an eight ounce bowl.

Another myth, according to Wansink, is that people know when they are full and stop before they overeat.

One of his studies showed that people lost up to a kilo a month after making several simple changes in their environment, including eating off salad plates instead of large dinner plates.

These findings were presented at the American Psychological Association`s 119th Annual Convention.

IANS