Monday, May 11, 2009

There You Half It

All my life, I’ve always been a clean-your-plate kind of guy. No matter what was on it, no matter how much was on it, I always managed to bring a spic-and-span finality to every meal I sat down to. Maybe it’s just me… maybe it’s the American way… maybe it’s the plate’s fault somehow.

Whatever the reason, that’s a habit that I knew that I just needed to shake. What I’ve tried to do these days is really take a hard look at the food I put on my plate. For example, last night I cooked a couple of tuna steaks; in the past, I’d have thought nothing of eating an entire piece. Recently I’ve started trying to start my meal with half the portion I’d normally had dished out, with the idea that I can get more if I really want it. It shocks me how often the half-sies get the job done (and I get to clean my plate like I like).

For me, eating is as much mental as it is a mechanism for fueling my body. By looking at my food–I mean, really looking at it–I think I’m finally starting to see it more clearly than ever before.


  1. It's kind of silly but what helps me sometimes is using smaller plates - try eating your dinner on a salad plate! It looks like you have so much more food!

  2. Amen, brotha! I'm mental, too - about the eating, that is. It's much more an emotional crutch for me than anything else.
    Love your blog - think I'll be back!

  3. Wow, good for you!

    I think this journey is 90-95% mental. I do small plates, too.

    I measure all my food now. I know how many ounces or grams I'm eating. I also have measuring spoons in 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, etc. So I'm re-learning portion size.

    It's always amazing how when we eat smaller quantities, we get full. Go figure. What a good thing to learn.

  4. My parents bought me up to clear the plate (post-war babies bought up during ration time, and they passed that right along to me), and I have a huge battle to stop when I'm full. I do the same as you - cook the smaller portion, even if I think it looks too little on the basis I can go and get something else later if I still want it.

    Smaller plates also work well (especially ramekin dishes for ice-cream - instant Ben and Jerry's individual sized portions) and I measure like a bitch these days!

  5. It's not just the American way. I is English and I've always cleaned my plate. Even if I wasn't always completely hungry! Also my Gran said it was rude to leave food.

    What I do is put my knife and fork down until each mouthful is completely gone from my mouth. It works. I realise eating slower gives my stomach time to process whether I'm actually full or not.

    wow @ the last paragraph. food for thought (pun intended)

  6. Growing up we were forced to clean our plate. It is a hard habit to break! I use the salad plates all the time now and most of the time, I use a bowl that holds one cup instead of the one that holds three. I really like the idea of taking half, and giving yourself the option of having the remainder if you really want it.

  7. That guy is too pale without the beard...he should definitely grow out the other half.

  8. So true! No wonder we have the saying "my eyes are bigger than my stomach".

  9. If you are a clean plate kinda person, then definitely try the small plate idea. It does work. You can always have a salad on a big plate then your actual dinner on the small "salad" plate. Helps keep portions in check which is half the battle.

  10. We were MADE to finish all our food as kids, it has taken me years to shake that off!

    Now, if only restaurants would believe me when I request child-size portions (sigh).

    Well done your progress BTW!



Related Posts with Thumbnails