There are two common portion control tricks that usually don’t work for those struggling to lose weight. Here are solutions.

These two tricks are insulting to the intelligence of anyone wanting to cut back on food intake.

Small Plates

If this simple-to-do approach truly worked, would there be so many overweight people out there?, mrblmoreno

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 seven meatballs with what would be three cups of cooked pasta, or four pancakes, they’re going to eat seven meatballs and three cups of pasta, or four pancakes, no matter WHAT that food is 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.

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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.

Small Spoons

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 eat more mindfully if plate and spoon size won’t work for weight loss?

• Eliminate as many processed foods as possible; e.g., replace frozen chicken/pasta dinners with fresh whole chicken and pasta prepared at home.

• Replace juice with whole fruit.

• Drink water, not soda, with meals.

• Track calories if you’re the analytical type.

• Break the habit of eating due to cues such as TV, computer use or because someone offered you food.

• Never grocery shop when you’re hungry.

Lastly, stick to an exercise regimen that includes intense strength training. Not only will this promote adherence to portion control, but it will aid in weight loss.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.