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One Simple Switch to Save Calories

Spicy Thai foods

When it comes to plate size, bigger is not necessarily better — at least for your waistline. According to the Food Brand Lab at Cornell University, people dished out 22% fewer calories using an 8- to 10-inch plate than a 12-inch one and reported feeling just as satisfied. Why is this, you’re wondering? Scientists say it’s an optical illusion — the DelBoeuf illusion to be exact. To boil it down, the brain visually interprets a large plate with extra white space surrounding the food as having less food than a smaller plate with no white space around the edges, when in reality, both plates contain the same amount of food.

Our recommendation: Put those oversized dinner plates away and serve meals on smaller 8- to 10-inch plates instead. Still want seconds? Drink a glass of water and wait five minutes first. By giving your stomach a few extra minutes to signal to your brain it’s no longer empty, you’ll be less likely to go back for round two — or, at the very least, you’ll eat a smaller second portion if you do.

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