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.