Questions for the Cook

Smaller plate = portion control made easy

When I was in high school, I tried every fad diet and diet technique in the book. The grapefruit diet. Crazy supplements. Eating with my left hand (I’m obviously right handed) to slow down my eating speed, just to name a few. One strategy that, as it turns out, is actually pretty smart, is eating off of small (luncheon size) plates for each meal, so you feel like you are getting a big meal, but actually you are getting just the right portions.

Have you ever noticed the size of a dinner plate at many restaurants? Completely enormous. Especially, it seems, at some Italian restaurants where each person gets what looks like a pound of pasta per person. A pound of pasta should actually serve four people as a main course. Eating everything on your plate is human nature, so if start with less, you can still be a member of the clean plate club but decrease your number of calories. Portion control is everything – the key to staying healthy is eating a wide variety of foods, but in moderation. 

So now that you’re eating from a smaller plate, what should it look like? If you are trying to eat healthier, make the veggies the star of the meal – they should take up 50%, while protein and whole grains should each take 25%. If you use the small plate, have the majority filled with veggies, you’ll make it a lot easier on yourself and still stick to your diet.

4 Responses to “Smaller plate = portion control made easy”

  1. Pam says:

    I agree with this. I have recently changed the size of our dinner plates to luncheon plates and have lost a few pounds because of it. In fact, the other night, I filled the plate with my dinner (fish, greens, rice) and thought to myself, “my but that’s a lot of food.” By the time I was done, I felt like I was going to bust. Would have been sick if I filled the regular sized dinner plate. One more trick to try — drink a large (16 oz.) glass of water BEFORE you start eating. Makes you feel full sooner.

  2. Joy says:

    We started doing this too! Especially when I was trying to lost he baby weight; it made a huge difference! Although I will say it is hard for me to eat anything after drinking a large glass of water! That is enough to make me feel totally full! haha! Another thing that helped me out (and is important because I am nursing my baby) is smaller mini-meals, if you will, more frequently. It helps me get the nutrition I need but also not get too heavily bogged down because of a giant meal!

  3. Wendy says:

    We’ve just begun our journey to getting healthy and losing weight in our family, and this is the VERY FIRST thing I did! We only drink water with meals, and the only thing that is allowed for “seconds” is vegetables, but we can eat as much of them as we like! It realyl does work! I make my own frozen yogurt, and I put it in a teeny bowl, but totally overfill it,and everyone is happy! Mind over matter! ;)

  4. Cindy says:

    At one delicious italian restaurant nearby they definitely use big serving bowls for individual portions. I always save my bread plate and dish out myself two bread plates worth of pasta and take the rest home. Works pretty well, I also add red pepper flakes to the pasta so I won’t want to eat more than the two plates worth.

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