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Eat Off Smaller Plates to Help With Portion Control

Smarter Eats: Use Smaller Plates and Grab It to Go

I grew up in a house where I was told to clean my plate. Not always a bad thing but it stuck with me for many years, even after serving sizes kept growing. I'm also a fast eater, something I've been working on, but I sometimes overeat before realizing I am full. A few things I've done to help kick my habits are using smaller plates and always taking food to go. cneter>

After inheriting some dishware from my grandmother I noticed that the dinner plates used during her era are much smaller than the ones we use today. I now use these dishes at home, which has reduced my portion size — yet I'm just as satisfied after every meal. Scientists confirmed that the brain takes visual cues when it comes to eating. If we see it, we somehow believe that we have to eat it and will end up feeling unsatiated even if we're physically full.

Portion sizes are out of control in restaurants. To remedy this I usually have half of my meal packed up to enjoy as lunch the next day. I don't go out of my way to starve myself, but it's always pretty obvious when you're given too much food at one sitting. If it's a restaurant I frequent a lot and know that the portion is going to be big, I ask my server ahead of time to make me a doggie bag before the plate even gets to my table.

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Join The Conversation
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
I grew up with being told to clean your plate as well. I'm a fast eater so I started using smaller plates to help control and it works really well. My husband usually goes back for 2nds but after I finish I put my dish in the sink so I'm not tempted ha-ha.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Yoga - that is so sad! I'm sure being force-fed while having such an intense fear was a miserable thing to go through :( I have a distinct memory of going to a friend's house when I was a little kid and being forced by my friend's mom to sit at their table until I ate an entire hot dog. Before then, it had never even occurred to me that people were actually forced to clean their plate. It was miserable, and I couldn't have imagined enduring that on a daily basis. To me, gorging yourself on food your body doesn't need or want is the epitome of waste.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I grew up in a clean-your-plate house but growing up with pseudodysphagia (psychological fear of choking induced by an actual choking incident when I was 5), I rarely ate much of anything. My parents would make me sit at the dinner table for up to 3 hours and I still would refuse to eat any meat or anything crunchy/hard. Many an evening was wasted sitting all night at the dinner table until bed time. I've always been a very slow eater and I always take food to go. Most restaurant portions provide me with 3-4 meals. I also eat all my meals on small plates because swallowing food gives me severe anxiety and the smaller my plate, the faster I can get the whole ordeal over. It's funny, I love the taste of food, but I hate to actually swallow it. I don't throw a lot of food away, rather I give what I can't eat to my husband.
goddessru goddessru 7 years
That clean your plate rule can lead to some very bad habits, but I do not throw away good food. I have a simple rule- "have not, want not". Don't take so much if you aren't going to eat it. Don't make so much if you're going to end up throwing it away. And if you do have too much, give it to a guy/gal on the street. I've walked out of restaurants before and gave away food. It's better than giving away money, and atleast I know that person is fed.
natasha1970 natasha1970 7 years
Wow - I guess no matter where in the world we live we all seem to grow up on the "clean your plate" principle. Anyway - what I do now is use the side plate for my meals. I def watch my portion sizes and eat 5 small meals per day....
nancita nancita 7 years
I used to be much better about taking half my food to go, or sharing it with my boyfriend. i recently resolved to start doing this again. I feel so much better about myself when I don't get grossly full!
califab califab 7 years
I hate, hate, hate throwing away food. I'll eat leftover salad the next morning to avoid it. I cook whatever is left in the fridge. I just think of the starving children, even though it's super cliche. My mother in law throws away buckets of food and I think it shows such a lack of awareness for the earth's resources and those around you who have less. If I don't finish my food I always bring it for lunch the next day.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I grew up in a clean-your-plate-club house, but now I realize I don't have to eat everything that's given to me. I don't eat out much, but when I do I usually give part of my food to my husband because he's always a lot hungrier than I am for whatever reason.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
My mom was always really big on not forcing me to clean my plate, and I'm so thankful she took that approach. Eating only until I'm full has always come naturally to me as a result.
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