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If You Do One Thing This Month...Use Smaller Dishes

Swapping your regular plates, bowls and cups for slightly smaller ones is a visual cue that can help you cut calories without even noticing that you're eating less. In his new book Mindless Eating (Bantam, August 2006), Cornell University food psychologist Brian Wansink, Ph.D., says that we tend to finish nearly all of what we serve ourselves. In one of his studies, Wansink found that people who were given a large bowl dished out 35 percent more -- or 106 extra calories -- of ice cream than those using a medium-sized one. And the same holds true if you use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, a 6-ounce tumbler instead of an 8-ounce cup or a shallow bowl instead of a deeper one: You will immediately slash your calorie intake (that is, if you don't go back for seconds!). Assuming you're eating 1,800 calories a day, cutting back by just one-fifth can help you lose 3 pounds a month (or 36 pounds in a year) -- effortlessly.

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