A great piece from Lifehacker on how to use psychological tricks to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. My favorite is this plate trick:

One study conducted by researchers Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum, revealed that a shift from 12-inch plates to 10-inch plates resulted in a 22% decrease in calories. Assuming the average dinner is 800 calories, this simple change would result in an estimated weight loss between 10 to 20 pounds over the course of one year. Smaller plates lead to fewer calories thanks to a powerful optical illusion known as the Delboeuf Illusion.

The illusion works because we think things are smaller when we compare them to things that are larger. So if you put a piece of food on a large plate, your mind will tell you it's a small portion and thus you put more food on the plate. However, if you put that same piece of food on a small plate, your mind will tell you it's a large portion. The image below describes the Delboeuf Illusion and how it applies to food.

plates.jpg

I'm definitely going to try using the small plates for meals for a while!

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