Found in 1 comment on Hacker News
jrs235 · 2015-10-02 · Original thread
> "50 extra calories / day x 365 days / year x 1 lb / 3,500 calories = 5 lbs / year"

"One late night, I had had enough of the infomercials and turned on PBS to find, sure enough, a fitness guy talking about diets. ... The fitness expert explained to the studio audience that the quick fixes lauded by late-night infomercials didn't work and that they weren't sustainable. He said that what we really need are simple lifestyle fixes that do not require us to change our natural tendencies, changes that make an impact before we have a chance to screw it up with our unhealthy food choices. And his first suggestion? Smaller plates.

Now riveted, I watched as the man explained that our natural human behavior is to fill our plates with food and, because Mom said so, clean that plate right up by eating everything on it. I still don't get Mom's logic--there are children starving in Africa, so I need to get fat? But the "clean-your-plate club" was instilled in me and probably in you, too. The message is ingrained. Changing that habit for a day is a no-brainer. But changing it permanently? That's hard. Some would say it's nearly impossible. This is why so many people who diet gain the weight back, why people rarely follow through on New Year's resolutions past the end of January, and why it's so difficult to be disciplined with your spending.

As I continued to watch the program, the expert went on to say that rather than work to change our "eat everything on the plate" behavior we simply need to change the size of our plates. When we use smaller plates, we dish out smaller portions, thus eating fewer calories while continuing our natural human behavior of serving a full plate and eating all of what is served.


A 2012 report by Koert Van Ittersum and Brian Wansink in the Journal of Consumer Research identifies the average plate size in America as having grown 23% between the years 1900 and 2012, from 9.6 inches to 11.8 inches. Running the math, the article explains that, should this increase in plate size encourage an individual to consume just fifty more calories per day, that person would put on an extra five pounds of weight... each year. Year after year, that adds up" [1]

Start will smaller plates and work on disciplining yourself to only one plate.

[1] Profit First: A simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz ( affiliate link )

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