a word about quantity

You may have noticed in my bio that I’m a dietitian. Its a job that I love and have done for many years, but I’m always a bit reticent mentioning my career when I meet someone new. Its a great fit for me – I love food, cooking, growing my own and I value health but I guess that I don’t want to be identified by what I do 9 to 5.

So I tend not to do a lot of posts purely about nutrition. But, today I’m in the mood and I hope you are too 😉

Weight control is a massive money spinner, think about the books and magazines you may have bought, the shakes, the ab machines, the list goes on. But the reality of weight control is not sexy nor easy, so the most sound and sensible advice is often overlooked by the lure of the latest and greatest diet!

So today I want to talk about quantity ie. how much we eat.

From infancy, we are taught to over-ride our natural instinct about how much we should eat. A small child might stop eating, but mum and dad in their eagerness to feed their children well will use tricks and games to try and get more food in.  When the children are older, they may say ‘finish you meal and you can have a treat’.  I’m not judging,  I do it myself – don’t know why this need to feed is so deeply ingrained in our psyche.  So ultimately, as adults we don’t seem to have a good internal mechanism around when to stop eating.

So I want to share with you a few words of wisdom

The Japanese say ‘hara hachi bu’ OR stop eating when you are 80% full

The prophet Muhammed described a full belly as 1/3rd full of food, 1/3rd full of fluid and 1/3rd full of air

So alot of people struggle with their weight, not because they eat the wrong foods, but because they simply eat too much.  See the photos below, the plain white plate is inexpensive and from large department store, the other plate is old (similar plates can be found at markets and op shops).  Notice once I put the old plate on the new one – check out the size difference – oh my – how easy is it to eat more.

So my message for the day is to try and be more mindful about how much you eat and perhaps make a conscientious decision to reduce the size of your main meal.  Let me know how you go!  Also, they say that the pleasure is in the first 3mouthfuls!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 14:46:48

    I saw a comparison like your plate one and then put the really large plates to the back of the cupboard. Portion size makes quite a difference!


  2. Ana Foix
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 03:42:48

    Mmm…that makes sense!
    Just a question: …how many ‘repeats’ can I have if the plate is smaller?…


  3. Anna Freeman
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 11:17:33

    Gavior has lost 6 kg through portion control and some exercise. Even when not exercising, he manages (or should I say I manage) his weight by sticking to portion control. Lydia, your advice is simple and easy for all to digest.


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