Real Estate on a Plate: Where Less is More

A California-based design company shows how to lose weight, help children and set a gorgeous table, all at the same time.

Image courtesy Slim & Sage There's a subtle weight loss device at work in this festive holiday setting. Slim & Sage plates are nine inches wide, compared to standard 12-inch plates, and the design eases healthy portion control.

From Malibu to Monterey Park, Pasadena to Palos Verdes, most Angelenos are stressed right now. They’ve just polished off the biggest meal of the year, and are wondering how they’re ever going to make it through the rest of the holidays wearing the same clothes that fit them in October. Because this is L.A., where residents are more style and diet conscious than most, it's a matter of major concern to millions.

At least there's one Calfornia-based company out there that is offering comfort: Slim & Sage has come up with a scientifically designed line of tableware that makes “healthy eating safe, simple and chic.” And to take it a step further, they’re donating 2% of their profits to childhood obesity research.

Slim & Sage collaborated with leading experts at Stanford and Harvard, then leveraged their backgrounds in healthcare and creative design to create a new line of tableware that’s as much about portion control as it is about good looks. They've pretty much proven that size does matter.

They based their products on a study that suggests that switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate may help reduce caloric intake by up to 48%, or up to 275-350 fewer calories per meal. This calorie reduction could translate to roughly 14-18 pounds over three months if the plate is used two meals per day.

Image courtesy Slim & Sage

Studies show that switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate may help reduce caloric intake by up to 48%, or up to 275-350 fewer calories per meal, if portions are optimized.

Think about it: The Journal of the American Medical Association found that American portion sizes have increased significantly since the 1970s. In fact, the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University found that American portions today exceed the FDA’s serving size guidelines by 200 calories per day. In comparison, our portions now dwarf their French counterparts by about 25%.

Europeans often laugh at the gargantuan portions served in American restaurants, and deep down inside, we know we shouldn’t eat anything bigger than our own heads, but we have this insatiable urge to get our money’s worth. If we’re served it, we will eat.

We can hardly control portion size when we go out, but we certainly can at home. That’s where Slim and Sage's attractive, 9-inch plates come in, as opposed to the standard 12-inch plates we’ve been using for about the past 50 years. A study in the journal Appetite found that people clean their plates about 91% of the time, even if they are no longer hungry.

But it’s not just size that matters. It’s also about specific portion control. Slim & Sage’s attractive European design is not just for looks – it helps you balance your meal by cleverly showing portions. You get pretty much all the nutrients you need if you fill half the 9-inch plate with veggies, then divide the other half in half again, and put lean protein in what is now a quarter section of the plate, and whole grains in the other quarter. You’ll get an idea from the diagram below.

Image courtesy Slim & Sage The European design is fabulous, but also functional by helping you portion your meal correctly. You get pretty much all the nutrients you need if you fill half a 9-inch plate with veggies, then divide the other half in half again, and put lean protein in what is now a quarter section of the plate, and whole grains in the other quarter. 

Studies have shown that this is an efficient way to lose weight and keep it off, and the results are staggering. The Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who used portion-controlled plates lost 94% more weight than those who didn’t. A study done among employees in the Google cafeteria found that by using portion control, they lost an average of 10-15 pounds without ever committing to a formal diet.

Add up the time and expense of traditional weight loss methods, and $99 for a set of four Slim & Sage plates seems rather reasonable. While the red and white “Ruby” plates are especially popular during the holidays, Slim & Sage reps report that Southern California is particularly partial to the blue and white “Pacific” style year round. You can find them at Neiman Marcus and Horchow, but L.A. residents get them in a flash when ordering direct from the Slim & Sage website, because the warehouse is located in nearby Bloomington.

So in essence, these plates can help you lose weight, set an elegant table and fund childhood obesity research, all at the same time. Now if they could just find a way to make them wash themselves…


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