Whom are we trying to kid with the so-called portion control tricks that could work only on the most impressionable, easily-fooled mind?
These two tricks are insulting to the intelligence of anyone wanting to cut back on food intake.
The first and possibly most well-known portion control trick that won’t make you eat less is that of using a smaller plate.
If this simple-to-do approach truly worked, would there be so many overweight people out there?
Go ahead, try it. Next time you’re as hungry as a horse, put half of what you’d normally eat of one of your favorite sinful foods on a small plate – one that’s a lot smaller than what you’d normally use.
When you’re done, you’ll want more, because you ate only half of what you normally would eat of that particular food.
Many overeaters already have a predetermined amount of food in their heads before they actually load a plate.
If someone wants three brownies or four pancakes, they’re going to eat three brownies or four pancakes no matter WHAT those brownies or pancakes are sitting on.
If someone normally begins feeling uncomfortably full by the time they’re at the second-last spoonful of a four-inch wedge of chocolate layer cake, this fullness will begin kicking in whether the plate could hold a pot roast or the plate barely encircles the cake.
The small plate trick will never work on someone who knows that in the cupboard is a family-size bag of tortilla chips.
When the chips from the tiny plate are eaten, that person will head back to the cupboard.
Sometimes the length of a TV show, that someone is watching while munching, dictates how much food gets eaten.
They may not even be looking at the plate and food while their fingers are reaching for the food and shoveling it into their mouth.
If there’s 10 minutes left to the show, this is the cue for many overeaters to get more food, regardless of the plate size.
The small plate gimmick also won’t work in a dark room while watching a riveting TV program.
If you’re still skeptical of the aforementioned analysis of this common portion control suggestion, try it in reverse:
On a huge plate, place half a cup of tossed greens. Now start eating. Are you overcome with the urge to heap more and more greens on that giant plate?
I didn’t think so.
If you have a big bowl of ice cream, chocolate mousse or buttery mashed potatoes, will a small spoon really make you eat less?
You likely already know how much ice cream or mac ‘n cheese you want and will load a bowl with that pre-set amount (which is estimated by appearance rather than a measuring cup).
That same amount will go on whichever size bowl you choose if it’s guided by what your eyes see in an absolute sense rather than what your eyes see relative to the size of the bowl.
So how does one control portion size if plate and spoon size won’t work for eating less?
Sometimes it’s just plain willpower. Other times it’s the composition of your diet.
For example, a diet steeped in processed foods will often leave you feeling hungry all the time.
And snack on fruit, nuts, steamed vegetables and plain yogurt to aid in hunger control.