Saturday, January 8, 2011

Portion Distortion

I'm going to confess: I have lost all concept of what a 'normal' portion size looks like. Once upon a time I knew what a well balanced plate should be. Then came pregnancy and nursing and ravenous hunger and now a heaping plate looks just fine to me. I'm totally keeping up with my 6-foot-tall-athletic-supermetabolism husband -- except that he works out and never gains a pound and I am just getting squishy.

Back in the days when I was food restricting, I had a mantra: 'one piece, one scoop, one slice.' Of course, that wasn't healthy either, but at least I was making an effort to pay attention to how much I was eating instead of filling my plate to the rim and eating until I'm stuffed. And I've noticed, lately, that I'll eat as much as is on my plate. If I fill my plate, I'll probably eat it all. But if I don't fill my plate, I usually don't go back for seconds. In fact I've read in multiple places that if you want to get your kids to eat more of a food, you should put on their plate double the amount you think they'll actually eat. When they see more, they eat more. Apparently that holds true for adults too.

So here's my plan. We've already stopped putting the pots of food on the table and started serving at the stove. Often I'm just too lazy to get up to get more food. And I discover that I'm actually satisfied with what I put on my plate in the first place. Unfortunately, even that is often too much. Next tactic, use a smaller plate. Our regular dinner plates are pretty huge. But if I use a salad plate, suddenly my half sandwich and small pile of carrots looks filling. And 1 cup of cereal served in a mug looks like a meal - in a bowl it looks like a snack. The same goes for the tall, skinny glasses, small coffee mugs, etc. In addition to changing up my dinnerware, I need to actively measure my food. I have no clue what 1/2 cup of rice looks like and I've discovered that when I 'guesstimate' I often take close to twice as much food as a serving really is. So it's time to pull out those measuring cups and find a new food scale - at least until I can trust myself to eyeball things properly. Once I learn what 'one serving' really is, I can start from there and add seconds only if I'm really truly still hungry. (More on learning what that feels like later).

Hopefully if I stick to this plan I'll finally start eating like a thin woman again - instead eating like I'm an athletic man :)

No comments:

Post a Comment