Many of us don’t realize just how much we eat. That is because the amount of food on your plate makes the choice for you and it doesn’t matter if you are a “clean your plate” eater or a “leave a little left over” eater.
Some people who used to be satisfied by a 12-ounce can of soda may now feel that a 20-ounce bottle is just right. It's "unit bias," the tendency to think that a single unit of food — a bottle, a can, a plateful, or some more subtle measure — is the right amount to eat or drink. Whatever size a banana is, that's what you eat, a small banana or a big banana. Whatever's served on your plate seems locked in your head: that's a meal. The supersizing of fast food and restaurant portions is one reason for the surge of obesity in recent decades.
People learn how big an appropriate food unit is from their cultures. For example, yogurt containers in French supermarkets are a bit more than half the size of their American counterparts. Yet French shoppers don't make up the difference by eating more containers of yogurt.
Here are some ways to be more conscious of your food choices. Use smaller plates to reduce the amount of food that looks like a meal. If you are truly hungry after that plate, go back for seconds. When eating out, request that the meal be split in two in the kitchen, with half on the plate and the other half packaged to take home. Instead of mindlessly eating your way through the portion on your plate, take breaks as you eat and ask yourself, “Am I still enjoying each bite?” Am I satisfied?” Am I still hungry?” Have I satisfied my craving?”
Dr. Rick Schlussel is a Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist providing preventive health care, treatment for pain and injuries, holistic health assessments and a variety of natural therapies. He can be reached at Presence Wellness Center and Spa at 530-889-0388 or by email at email@example.com