- One serving of meat or poultry -- the palm of your hand or a deck of cards
- One 3-ounce serving of fish -- a checkbook
- One-half cup of ice cream -- a tennis ball
- One serving of cheese -- six dice
- One-half cup of cooked rice, pasta, or snacks such as chips or pretzels -- a rounded handful, or a tennis ball
- One serving of a pancake or waffle -- a compact disc
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter -- a ping-pong ball"
- Don’t eat from the bag. You could be tempted to eat too much. Use the serving size on the package to portion out the snack into small bags or bowls. You can also buy single-serving portions of your favorite snack foods.
- Serve food on smaller plates. Eat from a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Keep serving dishes on the kitchen counter so you’ll have to get up for seconds. Putting your food out of easy reach will make it harder for you to overeat.
- Substitute lower-fat varieties of food. Instead of whole-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and milk, buy low-fat or skim instead. Use half the amount you would normally use of these products to save even more calories.
- Don’t eat mindlessly. When you snack in front of the television or while doing other activities, you’ll be distracted enough that you may eat too much. Eat at the table. Focus your attention on your food so you’ll know when you’ve had enough to eat.
- Snack between meals. If you’re hungry between meals, eat a healthy, high-fiber snack such as a piece of fruit, small salad, or bowl of broth-based soup. The snack will fill you up so that you don’t eat too much at your next meal."
In a June 2007 study, researchers at the University of Calgary randomly assigned 130 people with type 2 diabetes to use those plates or regular ones.
Overall, 17% of those who used the plate lost 5% or more of their body weight, while only 4.6% of the control group did; 26% of those who used the plate were able to cut back on diabetes medication (because they lost more weight), compared with 11% of people who did not use the plate."