What Size/Color is Your Plate? - Optical Illusion Eating
When you consider optical illusions relative to eating, it is true your eyes are bigger than your stomach. In this case, you perceive that the white circle on the left is bigger than the white circle on the right. In actuality, they are both the same size. It is the difference in the size of the surrounding circles that make the illusion.
Now think of the circle as a plate. An entree surrounded by smaller sides looks bigger than the same size entree with larger sides. An entree on a smaller plate looks bigger than one on a larger plate. Studies have shown that people are more satisfied with less food when it is served on a smaller plate.
Select your dinnerware accordingly and opt for sets that emphasize either smaller plates or larger rims and smaller eating surfaces. The Chez Panisse line at Heath Ceramics is perfect for this strategy. The dinner plate is 11.5" but because of the rim, only 8" is an eating surface.
Color is also a consideration when optical illusion and eating are combined. The less contrast between your food and your plate, the more you eat, ie. you will serve yourself more spaghetti with red sauce on a red plate than a white plate. The best color plate to help you eat less is blue. You can save money on the plates and the food you serve on them with this blue set fromTarget.
Fooling yourself to eat less is another form of behavior modification that works. Whether it is smaller plates or colors that show contrast, think about what plates will accomplish your goal before you load them with food.