Portion Predicament

When I was thinking about what to write on the topic of portion size I decided to use Google images to help get the mental juices flowing.  After some general browsing of images and some other websites, I came to a realization… What I call a snack is probably the recommended size for a meal.  I started thinking about staff potlucks, Christmas dinners at home, hell even Sundays watching football.  All the meals that take place in those circumstances are immensely out of proportion.  Yes, those are one offs but the size of food I eat on a regular basis is out of whack as well.  So I’m being genuinely honest when I say what I consider a snack is probably my recommended meal size. Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C (Damn you twitpic)

Alright now that I’ve come to that startling realization, how do I fix it?  Eating has become a rite of passage, we tend to eat when we celebrate, then we celebrate people who eat… (Man v. Food).  On top of that it has quasi masculine undertones to it, if you have a bird belly and don’t eat lots you’re a wuss or you’re tying to lose weight.  When did eating a recommended healthy sized portioned meal turn into a diet craze?

What it really boils down to is self-control.  Unlike the first two post in this series which touched on the media’s impact on body image and the cheap price of bad food.  Portion size is something that is more in the realm of our control and isn’t directly influenced by the media or economics.  If I spend $10.00 on a meal that’s massively over proportioned, I still have the choice to eat it all in one sitting or package half of it away and save it for tomorrows lunch.  I believe this one falls squarely on our shoulders.

Check out the facts on this picture (I know they're old)

As people we all have the ability to eat less, so the question is why don’t we?

Here’s a thought, if we scaled back the portion size of food at restaurants/fast food joints and charged people less money… Would people just order more food? Or would they just start accepting it as the norm?

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5 responses to “Portion Predicament

  1. You know it’s interesting you should mention Man vs. Food… I love all things food related and so spend vast amounts of time cooking (i find it relaxing), eating or watching food programmes. But with that program… i watch in horrified fascination more than anything else.

    If you are coming from where I am – food always was and always has been a sign of love. You go for dinner round at your folks.. they load up your plate, they send you home with something to eat for later. For all the things they were never able they were never able to give you.. they try to make up for it with food.

    We could eat less.. but if Food is viewed as a subsitute for love …we all want to feel loved right?

    • That is a really interesting way to look at it, I’ve never really thought about food being substituted for love. To take it even further, it can be related to people who emotionally eat… they draw the love parallel to food because it’s lacking in other aspects of their lives.

      Thanks for the comment, and I totally know where your coming from my family is the same way.

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  3. Oddly I have the opposite problem. I eat a snack and call it, definitively, a *meal.* Seven bites of cottage cheese is easily lunch for me. A banana is the most I eat for breakfast. And a spinach salad with feta is my most often eaten dinner.

    It is different for girls, I think. Ou femininity lies in us eating like birds. For guys it is the opposite.

    Still, I love a good, rare steak. Even if I can only eat six bites before feeling guilty.

  4. As a fellow tall person, I totally understand what you mean about your snacks being other people’s meals. I work with a woman who’s half my size and she and I often eat lunch together (what I derisively call ‘bird meals’) and I always feel the need to eat a snack before dinner after a small plate of cheese and crackers or cottage cheese with peaches.
    Yet, I often feel mentally clearer and less sleepy after these light lunches and I realized it was probably because I usually eat too much (and too fast). Thanks for the image, that was really interesting. Hope the 30 days of no drinks and no meat is going well! You’re almost there!

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