Small Changes Make a Big Difference

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

What if you could do one small, almost invisible thing, and that simple act would help reduce your calorie intake by up to 359 calories a meal?

Would that help you get healthy?

Would it help the people you live with?

What would you pay to prevent gaining 38 pounds a year?

Would you make the decision to act?

Many current sets of dinnerware feature dinner plates that are 10-11 inches. I’ve seen one with 12″ plates. The set of Corel plates that we formerly used had 11″ dinner plates and 8.5″ salad plates.

These are much larger that our vintage plates from the 1950s, when dinner plates were 9″ and salad plates were 7.5″. That doesn’t sound like much, until you calculate the area that each plate holds.
My wife and I use the 9″ plates, but we leave a thumb-width around the edge. That reduces the available area to 8″. Why don’t we just use the 7.5″ plate? Because by always leaving a thumb width on every plate, we train ourselves for those days when we eat at someone’s home. We’ve done it long enough that we know how much empty space to keep all around the plate.
We only fill it one time, and we don’t pile food on top of each other, so we are careful to only choose the foods we love.
What a difference an inch makes!
Plate Diameter  Square Inches   Ratio to 8” plate
         12”                   113.1                  2.25
         11”                     95.03                1.89
         10”                     78.54                1.56
           9”                     63.62                1.27
           8”                     50.27                1.0
So what does all that mean?
When I used the 11″ plates and filled them to the edges–not an uncommon practice in my previous life–I was able to put 1.89 times more food on that plate than I can now. If my old way of eating allowed me to load 1000 calories (imagine a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and all the rest of my most favorite meal), my new plating habit now only allows 529 calories. Changing that eating habit saved me up to 471 calories, and since I routinely ate second and third helpings, my other new habit of only one serving saves many more calories.
If you just switch from a 10″ to 9″ plate, you will save a lot of calories. That 10″ plate holds 1.23 times the food a 9″ plate will hold. Again, comparing a potential 1000 calories piled on the 10″ plate, that will be reduced to 813 calories (edge to edge) or only 641 if you use my thumb-room method.

That is potentially 359 calories saved. In ONE meal! Over the course of a year, that would be almost 131,000 calories eaten. Eating off your old plates could add almost 38 pounds–or using the new plates may help you lose the same amount.

In every case, we will see a full plate. Our minds will think that we are getting a LOT of food, but we will be limiting how much we eat.
The difference in how much food a plate can hold, based on comparison of square inches.

The equation is area = πr2(where pi = 3.141592654)