It’s all too easy to think of poor dietary habits as a character failing – a sign that, deep inside, you’re weak. But that makes changing them really hard.
The truth, as food psychology expert Brian Wansink has shown, is that our consumption habits are influenced by all sorts of factors you’d never predict.
For example, we can’t help judging what constitutes a ‘reasonable portion’ by comparing it to the plate it’s on – so simply by switching from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate, Wansink found, meant people ate 22 per cent less, on average. (Meanwhile, they drank less from tall, thin glasses than wide ones – so that’s one way not to overindulge on wine.)
Another amusing experiment involved a ‘bottomless’ soup bowl, that kept refilling from underneath; people ate much more soup, but didn’t realise it, or feel more full.
Before you put yourself, or your family, on a rigorous diet, consider a tiny change to how you’re serving dinner.
Read Make one change happen by Vanessa Anstee on LifeLabs