Thursday, April 9, 2015

Revisiting - Why a 9 inch plate?

The following was one of my first posts on this blog.  I decided to revisit it after I read several articles about things Google has done in their offices to get the employees to be healthier.  (The cynical part of me thinks this smaks of social engineering but who am I?) If you would like to read about the changes they made in their cafeterias and offices, there are several sources but this Washington Post article sums it up.  

Have you switched to a 9 inch plate?

Did you know that in the United States dinner plates have grown to be 11 – 12 inches in diameter?  Why does this matter?  Well, psychologists will tell you that we were taught to eat everything on our plate and when your plate is 11 or 12 inches across, you are eating a lot of food.  It was suggested to us that we should have 9 inch plates.  (Somehow from looking at us they guessed that portion control may be a problem.)  In checking the cabinet, I found that our dinner plates were 10.5 inches across and the new plates that I bought (to replace chipped ones) were even larger.  So I went on the hunt for 9 inch dinner plates so we could experiment and see if it made a difference.  Now, I would hate to think that I am such a simpleton that changing the size of the plate would make a difference in how much I ate.  After all, could just having a smaller plate make a difference in making me feel full?  

Once again Silent Sam’s diabetes (in your head please follow that word with the ominous DUM, DUM, DUM soundtrack) has led me to shopping.  So this is not all bad.  Just kidding.  It took me a little while to find a plate that was 9 inches.  I finally found that Fiestaware has a luncheon plate that is 9 inches.  Please note – this is not the salad plate or the dinner plate but the luncheon plate.  Really, does one need that many sizes in casual dishware?  Oh well mine is not to wonder why, mine is but to do or buy….

I decided to order 4 luncheon plates.  Of course that leads to the hard decision as to what color to order.  Over the years, I have heard conversations about the color of plates.  One person was sure that the way that you picked a plate color was to imagine spaghetti on it – would it look appealing?  And with Fiestaware, do you pick just one color or an assortment?  I decided to go with one color for the preliminary order.  Yes, I was planning ahead or perhaps feeling positive about the outcome of this experiment.  I also ordered some small bowls for frozen yogurt.  Let me admit here that there is no way to tell what size a bowl is from a picture on your computer.  They looked small…  

I may or may not have told the family about this purchase until the plates and bowls arrived.  Luckily no one objected to my color choice.  The bowls are small – Silent Sam took out the measuring cup and announced that they hold ¾ of a cup of liquid.  The plates looked much smaller in the cabinet but they were a cheery color so I was hopeful.  

I am a simpleton.   Since we started using the plates, I do feel full at the end of the meal.  One of the tips that we were given for portion control was to divide a 9 inch plate into quarters.  One quarter was for protein, one quarter for starch, and the other half for vegetables and salad. It is mostly containing the protein and starch parts of the meal where we had problems.  I would say that there have only been a couple of times since we started this new lifestyle that I have been hungry at the end of dinner.  I will admit though that with the “frozen yogurt bowls” that I have occasionally wanted to lick the bowl clean but I have resisted so far.  Something about the visual of that stops me in my tracks.  

Now you have it.  My first and perhaps best tip right now is the 9 inch plate.  There are more tips and tales to come – and not all involve shopping.  

Thanks for reading!

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