Control your weight by controlling your portion size

There’s a social conspiracy to trick you into eating more. Everything from efficient waiters (clearing the table so you forget how much you’ve eaten) to family-size bags of chips (making massive quantities seem normal) goads us into stuffing our faces. A recent Cornell University study found that nutritionists who were asked to serve themselves ice cream using large bowls and spoons dished out about 50 percent more than those given smaller bowls and spoons. Even superstar experts get fooled, says Dr Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating. Fortunately for us, the illusion works both ways.

**Use small bowls and spoons

You will serve yourself less food and so also eat less. Cornell researchers also found that graduate students scoffed down 59 percent more cereal from large bowls than those who served themselves using smaller bowls.

**Drink from a tall glass

Our brains estimate height differently to width. Given drinking glasses with the same capacity, we tend to pour more into a short, squat glass than a tall, narrow one.

**Always, always skip the value size

Sure, you get more for your money when you buy in bulk. But Wansink has found that people who are given larger boxes of pasta cook and eat more of it than people given smaller boxes. Sacrifice the cents to save your waist.