4 Tricks to Prevent Overeating at Your Next Cookout
You need a plan to help you avoid overindulging.
- Beware of the Big Plates.
Fact, the size of your plates and bowls can add or subtract calories to or from your meal. “Environmental cues tell you how much you should serve or eat,” says Wansink. A big plate makes portions look smaller, so we tend to load it up with more food, he explains. Use small or medium bowls, and skip the super-size paper plates in favor of something smaller; 8 or 9 inch plates are a good fit for most meals.
- Consider color.Surprisingly, the color of your plates can also influence how much you eat. In a 2011 study, Wansink’s team found that people dished out and ate more pasta with marinara sauce if they were given red plates. The same for Alfredo sauce served on white plates. The reason is simple. Portion sizes look smaller than they are if the food blends into the background. The solution: contrasting plates. Consider what you’ll be serving, and pick a plate in a contrasting color. Eating potato or pasta salad along with a burger or hot dog? Pick a dark-colored plate. Munching on healthy greens, grilled veggies, and salmon? Classic white is perfect.
- Downsize your serving spoons.The silverware you eat with doesn’t seem to influence intake, however serving spoons and other utensils you use to fill dishes for yourself or others may have an effect. Large utensils make serving sizes seem smaller, so you’ll tend to dish up more food.
- Keep your distance from temptation and put healthy food front and center.If you’ve put a bowl of chips out for your guests or you made your mom’s favorite pie, position yourself at a distance. Consider setting up a separate table for the healthier option foods or serve small portions and send the rest inside. The trouble of having to head into the house for another slice of pie may squash your craving. But you don’t even have to go that far. Wansink and his team found that just 6 feet of distance kept people from overdosing on chocolate. So, keep salads and healthy vegetables close by and place the bulge builders where they are harder to reach. And when it comes to desserts, don’t bring them out until everyone’s finished the main meal. You’ll likely be too full to eat too much, and serve the sweets on your tiniest plates.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have listed above. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running AND keep it ad free! Please check out the disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!