A journey towards a healthy and happy You

5 Nudges to Help You Toward a Healthier Lifestyle II

By: Femi Agbaje-Williams January 3rd, 2017

Think the circles are the same size? Think again.

Nudge nr. # 2 – Size matters
Look quickly at the picture above. Do the red circles appear to be the same size? If your answer is “no” – read more about how to make use of this and nudge yourself towards healthier consumption of food and drink.

In the two red circles above, which one appears larger? You probably have the urge to say “the circle to the right”. But the thing is, It’s an optical illusion, they’re actually the exact same size. As humans, we tend to intuitively code our surroundings. This picture is an optical illusion of relative size perception and it tricks your brain into making the cognitive shortcut saying that the circles are different sizes. You can use this behavioral insight to nudge yourself towards a healthier consumption of food and beverages.

It’s been proven that not even trained nutritionists can sort out right size of portions when given plates in different sizes. A normal-sized meal appears to be small on a larger plate as compared to a smaller plate. According to a substantial body of research we actually, quite mindlessly, eat less on smaller plates. The same mechanism goes for drinking. Using larger and wider glasses makes us consume more of the liquid in the glass than in slim smaller glasses. Keep this in mind – size matters.

Task: Change your most commonly used plates and glasses at home to regulate your consumption in the direction you’d like. Smaller if you want to reduce your consumption, and larger if you want to increase it.

By Linda Lindström, Behavior strategist & Co-founder
Beteendelabbet (The Swedish Behavior Lab)

RELATED: 5 Nudges to Help You Toward a Healthier Lifestyle I


  • Our systems are dependant on the food we consume so eating well should be a top priority for us. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals are critical for proper functioning and without these, your body and mind will start to deteriorate much faster. Knowing what to consume is based on so many individual factors and I can help figure those factors out. I am a nutritional therapist in Cape Town, love your thoughts.

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