Posted on: May 30, 2018 at 2:13 pm
Last updated: August 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm

It’s no secret that the amount of food you eat affects your weight. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that for the last 30 years the rise of obesity has been parallel to the portion size of foods. Portion control can be challenging, it’s hard to say no to a second helping especially when your body is feeling hungry.


The best way to control portion sizes is to trick your body into feeling full so it tells your mind to stop eating.  Here are 2 tricks you can use to stop overeating and feel full without having to change your diet!

Trick #1: Eat On A Smaller Plate


To help trick your body into thinking you’re eating more all you have to do is change your plate size, it’s that easy! Eating your meal on a smaller plate won’t change the amount of food your eating but instead, make it look like there is more food there.

This trick is also known as the Delboeuf illusion, an illusion where an object will appear to be a different size when compared to another object, so because the plate is smaller the food appears bigger.

A study posted in the Obesity Science and Practice Journal found that people who ate a meal on a smaller plate as opposed to the larger one feel more satisfied and were not overeating. It’s a simple trick but is proven to help people eat less! (2)

Trick #2:  Have Your Plate Color Contrast Your Food

A study done by Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert Van Ittersum found that the color of your plate can also influence how much you eat. The study concluded that people will serve themselves 30% more food if their food matches the color of the plate, and if the color of the plate matched the color of the background they were eating on, they ate an additional 10% less.


This mix of colors alters your perception to make you think your food is filling up more of the plate which will stop you from over-serving yourself. (3)

Here is a video where Dr. Koert Van Ittersum goes into more detail about how changing the size and color of  your dinnerware can affect how you eat:



5 Tips To Help Control Your Appetite That You Can Do Now!

1. Drink more water

Drinking water before a meal can help decrease hunger and increase feelings of fullness. Studies show that people eat 22% less when drinking two glasses of water before a meal.  To feel full you should aim to have at least 17 oz or 500ml of water to stretch the stomach and reduce appetite. (You can also try a red tea detox to help curb cravings!)

2. Be Mindful While Eating

How fast or slow you eat will change how much you consume. Your brain can recognize when it is hungry or full, but when you’re distracted or eating quickly it can make it hard for the brain to get these signals. By focusing on your meal you can help reduce binge eating behavior and eat a lot better. 


Exercise helps reduce the activity in the part of the brain linked to food cravings.  It can help you eat less by reducing hunger, hormone levels and increasing feelings of fullness. It is a great way to get moving and reduce appetite!

4. Drink Coffee

Coffee increases the release of peptide YY (PYY) which is a hormone in your gut that makes you feel full. Scientists believe that the level of this hormone in your body will impact how much you eat, by drinking coffee you are helping your body feel full holding you off until your next meal.

5. Eat Spicy Foods

A recent review found that compounds like capsaicin found in hot peppers and capitate in sweet peppers may help lower hunger. The heat of the spicy food also helps to increase the number of calories burned after a meal as well although the effects have not been seen in all studies. (4)


  1. Jenny H. Ledikwe, Julia A. Ello-Martin, Barbara J. Rolls; Portion Sizes and the Obesity Epidemic, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 135, Issue 4, 1 April 2005, Pages 905–909 ,
  2. Peng M. How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal‐weight and overweight groups? Obesity Science & Practice. 2017;3(3):282-288. doi:10.1002/osp4.119.
  3. (2018). The Color of Your Plates Matters | Food and Brand Lab. [online] Available at: 
  4. Petre, A. (2018). 18 Science-Based Ways to Reduce Hunger and Appetite. [online] Healthline. Available at:
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