Friday, January 16, 2009
Mind your plate!
Are we tired of New Year’s resolutions yet? Did we already abandon the new diet - they never work, do they? Well here is another approach - one that actually makes sense. Something I have been doing since last December.
There is a new book out there - presented with the impressive amount of new diet books released for the New Year, that examines something I have been commenting on for years. About 10 or 15 years ago the size of dinner plates went up - drastically. I still remember where in New York City I bought my first set of these 12 inch diameter monsters, my mother would have used as serving platers. But that really was the beginning of the incredibly expanding dinner plate - whereas the standard diameter had been around 8½ to 9 inches (and still is in Europe) - you will have a really hard time finding a dinner plate that is that small today. All of the dinner plates I found at the mall recently were 11½ to 12½ inches. And of course that is not the only thing that has been expanding! With all these added inches in the plate department, the inches that we like to obsess about are not far behind. The aforementioned book - “The 9 inch Diet” estimates you will be able to reduce your calorie intake by a whopping 35% switching to smaller plates!
Why does this come in handy for Vegetarians on the Cheap? Because these 35% do not only apply to your calories, but also to your budget. Less food eaten, means less food you have to buy.
Trying this at home myself I kept cooking the same amounts, but simply could not fit all the food on the smaller salad plates I was using, and while I thought that the family would notice and complain and jump up to run for seconds, that never happened! Not once did anyone in my family state that they were left hungry - even though they consumed way less food than they would have otherwise. It is a known psychological fact that people tend to eat just as much food as you put in front of them - the old "finish your plate syndrome". I would take it a step further and assume that one of the biggest cues our brain processes when eating, is a visual one. Namely, "when the plate is clean - I am done and not hungry anymore". This really works!
Should you run out and buy either the book or new plates? Not really - salad plates do an excellent job - just make your salad plate your new dinner plate and you should be in business. The book is visually entertaining, but since it gives you only some inspiration and no recipes, it is a fine thumb through - but not a must buy.