Two words – so simple yet so complex. Why is it this such a daunting task for so many of us (yes, me too!)?? There isn’t a cupcake that I didn’t absolutely love to devour. Sweet sausage on a roll has NO chance at turning into left-overs.
I personally don’t believe it’s our fault. In fact, I believe we’ve been tricked into eating more & more all to our detriment. I also believe it’s a societal thing. Countries with more resources tend to eat more. It’s like they say…”more money more problems.” Right? When you have more you want more. In my un-expert opinion it’s only natural for humans to indulge when you have the abundant resources to do so. I mean why not? If you won the lottery wouldn’t you buy a new car-even if you didn’t need one? Sure you would. You might even get a new house even though the one you have is perfectly fine for you.
Let’s admit it that as a country and society we have been blessed with enough food that we can throw it away – by the boat loads! And if you don’t believe me, check out the landfills. I’m sure they are overflowing with half-eaten meals.
Over time we’ve increased portions, disproportionately! I’m sure you’ve all seen the regular McDonalds fries from 20 years ago. I think my 5yo would look at me questioning what happened to the rest of her share if she got the 20-year-old-version fries. We’ve been accustomed to getting more & more on our oversized dishes. I think I may have even complained once or twice if my plate is showing any white borders. I think I may have even felt gyped. The audacity of someone not piling on the food on my 10 inch wide dish with food at least 3 inches high!!
It’s time to readjust our perspective on food and that may mean using smaller dishes, measuring our food -for good measure, and discovering that food is actually fuel for our bodies to function and perform for us NOT to fill a reservoir of unused calories. Family meal times are to indulge in the experience of human bonding not a race to see who can eat the most the fastest. I know this is a different take on the drive-thru family meal. I do realize that these modern day conveniences have come about because our lives have become so busy, stressed, and downright chaotic. I have those days too but perhaps setting a goal as a family to slow down, sit down, and take a breath might be helpful for the whole family. We could all benefit from some down time to help decrease stress and spend time on our personal relationships.
What does all this have to do with eating less??…Well many of us tend to over eat due to stress and pressure and many other emotional reasons. So taking time to slow down and interact with each other can alleviate many of those negative emotions. Re-proportioning our servings at meal time will also help us eat less. And the key is to stick to these rituals over & over again until it becomes HABITS!! Here’s some other tips to help you eat less at every meal….
- When you’re at home use a salad dish to serve your main course
- Use a smaller serving spoon when preparing your dish
- DO NOT go for seconds
- Set a pitcher of water at the table & drink up!
- Put your fork down between bites and share the best part of your day
- When eating out ask for a doggie bag before you start eating & separate it out & then eat!
- Skip the appetizer at the restaurant and opt for a glass of wine or water with lemon
- Eat your meal with your less-dominant hand…helps you sloowwww down
- If you have to go through the drive-thru for a quick meal be sure to SHARE the meal & minimize the damage
And in the words of Julia Child – Bon Appetit!