Eating More Than We Think
As I have been reading through Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, I have had an awakening of sorts…
Dude, I think my dishes are out to get me…
Now before you go calling someone to help me find my marbles, stay with me.
Ya see this book shares all kinds of findings from their research lab… which doubles as a “restaurant” and they try all sorts of things to see what will get people to eat more.
Portion Control- Out of Control
They found that pretty much no matter what… and no matter who you are…
If it is a bigger bowl, fork, spoon, glass or plate…
You WILL consume more, dish out more, graze more and adjust your “portion” to acclimate to the size than you would from a smaller container.
They have tested strangers with crappy old stale pop corn.
They have tested bar tenders with years of experience pouring drinks…
It DOESN’T matter… everyone “messes up” on portion awareness when the tub of popcorn is bigger or the shot glass is bigger…
They have put party snacks in a gigantic tub and then in smaller bowls and EVERY time, guests take and consume more from the tub…
And the kicker?
Everyone they interviewed swore that they “hadn’t been fooled” by size and yet, they were.
I Like Big Bowls and I Cannot Lie
So what does this have to do with my dishes and more importantly (for me- not you) my butt?
Well let’s take a look shall we? (the bowl… the bowl!)
This is a bowl of my latest cereal obsession… Banana Nut Cheerios.
Pictured above is one serving in a bowl.
Looks good right?
Well, the problem is, the bowl I usually eat cereal out of could eat this bowl for breakfast… just sayin’
Let’s see what one serving looks like in my bowl.
Looking pretty empty in there… Could probably fit another (if not 2 more) servings in the bowl to make it “feel” full.
I could easily sneak in an extra 200 calories in this bowl without really noticing it that much…
Your Plates are Growing
The book says that antique dealers are always having to explain to patrons that the “lunch” plates they are asking for matching “dinner” plates for ARE the dinner plates.
So what about my plates?
Here is a serving of 4 oz of chicken, 1/3 cup of corn and 1/3 cup of peas on a plate.
Here are the SAME portions on my plates.
Now when you are talking chicken breast and veggies, a little serving fudging might not really zap your diet.
BUT if you are treating yourself to a favorite side that night or there is a yummy casserole in the oven, it could be very difficult (even for those who think they can handle it– self are you listening) to get one’s portions right… and the size of the plate could change the calorie count of the dinner by hundreds of calories… and eventually your jeans by a couple of sizes… trust me, I know from experience- yo!
Solutions that Work
- Ditch your dishes and get smaller ones like these Luncheon Plates
- Only use small spoons and forks to eat and serve with smaller utensils or better yet, measuring cups.
- Test your portion eye. Scoop out a “serving” then measure it to see how well you did.
- If portions are a problem for you, get a digital food scale (I use mine every day).
- Use Muffin Pans with both sweet AND savory dishes for built in portion control.
- Read Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think to gain the knowledge to beat the mind tricks.
What Works for You?
Do you have any tips to tame your portions? We’d love to hear them!
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