Losing Weight: Using Small Plates Helps Shed Pounds

First Posted: Jan 12, 2016 11:44 AM EST

Losing weight can be challenging for many for many individuals. Unhealthy diets, stress, lack of exercise and sleep are some of the major factors that contribute to gaining those excess pounds. In the latest study at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, researchers found that using small plates during meals can help individual lose weight.

"Just changing to smaller plates at home can help reduce how much you serve yourself and how much you eat"," Natalina Zlatevska, coauthor of the study, said in a news release. The researchers' solution is surprisingly simple and it is an easy technique that can be adapted to help shed excess pounds.  

The researchers included the findings from 56 previous research studies, which also examined the effect of smaller plates on consumption. When they combined all of the studies, the researchers found that halving the plate size led to a 30 percent reduction in the amount of food that was consumed. They also found that a 30 percent reduction in the plates' diameter was equivalent to a 30 percent reduction in food consumption.

The study identified two essential factors that drive the effectiveness of small plates in reduction. Small plates reduce consumption when an individual self-serves their portions. If a diner serves him or herself, they tend to serve less and therefore consuming less.

Smaller plates are also effective when consumers are not aware that their consumption is monitored. Many studies which were carried out in food laboratories were not effective since participants were aware that they are being monitored. As a result, the plate size had no effect on consumption.

The study showed that by using smaller plates diners can reduce the chances of over eating.  

The findings of this study were published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

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