Monday, 29 April 2013

The great platesperiment seems to be working

This weekend we went out and bought some new smaller sized plates and bowls in an attempt to take advantage of our brain's propensity to think that things surrounded by white space are smaller than things surrounded by less white space.  In our case, we bought clear glass plates, but it is the size, not the material that counts for the purpose of this experiment.

In the photos above you can see our old plates on the left, and the new plates on the right.  The same exact pieces of bread were used in each photo - - only the plates are different.  And you know what?  Although I don't think the new plates necessarily make the bread look bigger, per se, the old plates do make the same quantity of bread look somewhat smaller.  The contrast would be even greater if we were comparing white plates to white plates.  This blows my mind.  Yes, I am a very simple creature.

Our first meal with the new plates was steak dinner on Saturday, and our plates looked full to overflowing.  Similarly with Sunday's chicken dinner.  Sunday brunch is where I really noticed it - - the two pieces of toast with avocado and poached eggs filled out the new plates quite nicely and looked more substantial, somehow, compared to the same meal on the old plates. 

One immediate side effect of the new plates and bowls is that we simply cannot fit the same amount of food on the plate or in the bowl.  As a result, I have changed from having 1/3 of a cup of All Bran Buds with my morning fruit and yogurt to having 1/4 of a cup - - a savings of 20 calories and 50 mg of sodium, a not insignificant savings when you are playing with fewer calories.  I tried it this morning and literally did not notice the difference.  My bowl still looked very full, and I was satisfied when I finished wolfing through my breakfast. 

This is exactly the result that the new dishes were intended to deliver - - causing us to put less food on the plate, but without any feeling of deprivation.  Sure, I am messing with my mind, but that's fine if it keeps me from feeling deprived.

It's still early days yet, and our sample size of 2 (1 tight ass lawyer and 1 Nerd) is hardly what you could call a statistically significant sample, but if it works for us, that's all I care about. 

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