Making small adjustments throughout our lives can make all the difference for those with long-term weight-loss goals. Dr. Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, and author of best-seller “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think” provides his readers and students alike with advice to take control of their eating habits with easy adjustments — things from using taller drinking glasses to smaller plates for eating meals. Lifestyle changes have shown to be more successful than restrictive diets.

His advice has been adopted into many households and through many teaching methods such as Richard Wiseman, a professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. He produces YouTube videos of “Life-changing ideas in less than a minute” for his channel “In59seconds,” which is where he quotes Wansink’s plate-size advice.

In his video, “How to lose weight without trying,” at over 800 million views, Wiseman says plate sizes are all an illusion. “When you place a portion of food onto a small plate, it looks relatively large. So you often end up putting less on the plate. In fact, psychologist Brian Wansink has discovered that just moving from a 12-inch to a 10-inch plate causes people to eat around 20 percent less.”

Wansink believes sustainable weigh loss is the key and the way to achieve it is by overcoming the challenge to figuring out which changes work for each individual. Some of the tips in Wansink’s book are based off of the results from the National Mindless Eating Challenge (NMEC), an online healthy eating program that encourages behavioral changes instead of restrictive dieting.

Initially 2,053 participants followed through on the challenge. However, only 504 supplied feedback through the follow-up survey, in which over two-thirds either lost weight or maintained their weight, with an average of 2-lb. weight loss per month. Those who continued the NMEC program wound up losing an average of one percent of their body weight in a three-month period, which for a 150-lb. person, calculates to 15-lb. loss.

Participants felt the following tips were the most effective for attaining their weight-loss goals:

  1. Keep counters clear of all foods except for health ones, such as a bowl of fruit.
  2. Never eat directly out of a package — always portion food out into a dish.
  3. Eat something hot for breakfast, within the first hour of waking up to boost metabolism.
  4. Avoid going for more than three-to-four hours without having something small to eat.
  5. Put down utensils between bites in order to slow down your eating. It takes 20 minutes for food to reach your stomach and tell your brain you’ve eaten.

Bonus Tip:

Become an illusionist and change your dining ware around. Just as Wiseman told his millions of YouTube viewers, eat off of plates that are smaller because it will give you the illusion that your portions are bigger and also leaves less room for you to fill with calories you just don’t need. In addition, drink from tall glasses. According to Wansink’s research, another illusion is at play here, and a majority of his test subjects believed there was more in the glass when it was tall and thin rather than short and wide.

Beat your brain and try some of these tips for a mindless, yet healthier, eating experience.