Could Your Plate Be Making You Fat?

Hey, so first up – it seems that this past week wasn’t one of those where the places on my Win a Kindle Draw flew – true there are only – yes ONLY 48  places left – but there they are – still up for grabs by anyone who likes to sign-up for this blog.  So, still a chance to tell any friends or family – share the link – they’ll thank you if they win, just go to Win a Kindle for all the details.

I’ve hit the title this week with Could Your Plate Be Making You Fat?     WHAT?!?   

Bear with me…..

I’m still on the ‘watching what I eat’ kick this week, I know – again – yes, I do blog about other topics, honest,  but the programme I told you about  last week (The Men Who Made Us Fat) gave me another angle to think about this week too.  And By The Way – last week’s programme is now available on YouTube (for my US readers who can’t see iplayer – well worth watching – link HERE)  (For my FWT? cheerleaders: I’m maintaining the new weight with only one set of reps of each day’s exercise and eating as before)

This week they were thinking about The Men Who Made Us Fat by super-sizing  meals.  I learnt something – I always thought McDonalds were the initiators of this insidious scheme – seems they just spread the idea better and further – it started with popcorn.  iplayer version here for another 9 days  Youtube episode 2 part 1 here – the others will come up then

If you are watching what you eat you’d not get suckered into the ‘would you like to super-size that’ ploy (always supposing you were in such an establishment in the first place) however, I discovered something that may cause you to up your portion size without meaning to, without really thinking about it.

new design plain plate 27.5cm

I recently bought some new dining plates – just a few plain white ones to make up numbers a bit – my set is over 20 years old and has suffered some casualties and the design is long gone being available.   The new plates weren’t anything special in size – same as most of the rest in the shop. Basic, standard white dinner-size plates – or so I thought until I tried to put them in the cupboard with the others.  They were an inch larger.

summerfields plate 25.5 cm inner 17.5 cm

Not only that, these new plates were of a different design to my original ones – flat with a gently turned up rim around the outer edge – which seems to be the current poplular style. My summerfields design plates have a central flat place with a raised decorated flat rim at an inch and a half wide round the edge – so the flat / food area is basically a 7 inch diameter circle. The new plates, being flat almost out to the edge offer a flat / food surface of at least 10 and a half inch diameter.

That’s a whopping  50 % more space on your plate that looks like it ought to have food on it.

Another TV programme. Britain’s Secret Eaters (honest – I really don’t watch much TV – and not of this kind, it’s formulaic and one of those that treat the audience as if it has the attention span of a gnat – repeating itself constantly… enough of that rant .. won’t be watching them all, needless to say)  Briefly, the premise of the programme is that the participants are vastly overweight but do not understand why, as they all believe they eat sensibly, healthily and not too much – some even think they do not eat enough!  They then allow cameras to be placed in their main rooms to monitor their eating habits. What they didn’t know was that the programme makers would also set private investigators to trail them and get all the info on what they ate outside the home too.  As you can imagine these people actually pack away vast quantities of food that they didn’t even think about -ok! Ok !  now we come to my point. We also see them eating what would be considered a healthy balanced home-cooked meal. Except it is on one of those large style dinner plates and it is FULL. Edge to edge.  When it comes to it, eating too much of any food – not matter how healthy, will result in putting on weight.

We eat* with our eyes before we eat with our mouths, so they say. (or *serve up food)  Our mind can tell us whether we’re going to feel full and satisfied as much as our stomach. So if a standard meal would look a bit paltry on a large plate, the temptation might be to put a bit more on it … to super-size it.

Am I right – might the right amount of food look ‘too little’ on an extra large plate? Could a plate help to make you fat…. or a different plate help to make you slimmer?

Any experiences to relate? Any thoughts on my theory? I’d love to hear from you!



5 thoughts on “Could Your Plate Be Making You Fat?

  1. In complete agreement with you Ann regarding plate size. Hub and I have changed our plate size over the past few months and seen the results. It’s so much easier than all that finicky counting calories, just eat sensibly but not so much, and a smaller plate takes me in every time!

    • What a simple idea to help curb portion sizes! Researching other plates I found that the really long-term designs (like some Denby from the 70s) had quite small dinner plate sizes and with the rim to reduce it even more. Looks like a case of back to the future for sensible eating.

  2. I totally agree with you Anne. I bought some new plates a few years ago and my niece came round and had dinner with me. I was cooking Spaghetti Bolognese, I did the usual amount that I did when I was cooking for my family of three but this time it was just the two of us and when I dished it up, it looked a pitiful amount on the plate and I apologised to my niece for not having anymore. It was only when I loaded the plates in the dishwasher that I realised how much bigger the new plates were and why the dinner looked so small. I’ve now bought smaller plates and my other plates are at the bottom of the pile and get used very rarely.

    • Wow! So even the quantity for 3 looked small for 2 on the new larger plates!
      How easy then to eat that much extra everyday if someone didn’t realise how the visual effect changed expectations. The programme showed how eating more, and more and more was an easy progression – I really think this plate thing is something to look at carefully!
      Thanks so much for your response!

  3. Krissi sent me this article:
    Buy Black Plates to Lose Weight – Cornell University
    If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you have the right colour crockery, says The Huffington Post. Researchers have found that when people’s food is the same colour as their plate (e.g. white rice on a white plate), they take far more generous helpings ” 17% to 22% larger ” than when there is contrast. This, said the team at Cornell University, may be because people tend to fill their plates without thinking, but if their food stands out on the plate, they stop to consider portion size.
    Put this together with the plate-size question posed above on my blog and annmade Slate Plates look like a great way to watch what you eat!

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