Portion Distortion

by Health, Travel

Twenty years ago a serving of soda was considered 6.5 ounces. A bottle of Coke was sold to serve three people, whereas now a 20-ounce serving is the norm. How can you trick yourself in this super-size world?

A buck can buy you a burger at McDonald's but it costs $5 for a salad. How does that make sense? Do you really want meat that is so cheap that you can get a whole sandwich for a buck?

 

I always say that if a restaurant serves a lot of quantity, they can't serve quality.

 

So how can you overcome the portion distortion?

 

Eat from small plates and bowls. – We have good ole Corelle dishes at home. Because they are the most beautiful? Nope. Because they were the only dishes we could find when we were shopping that was in any way a reasonable size. Everything else looked like serving platters. Most of the time, I use these little bar plates and bowls that my sister bought me for Christmas. Growing up I ate ice cream out of a regular bowl. Now I put it in a small coffee mug or ramekin. It fills up the dish so it tricks my brain into thinking it's more.

 

Use a tall glass. A taller glass looks like more to the eye. I used to always drink kombucha from a tumbler. When I poured the same amount into a tall glass, all of a sudden, my husband couldn't drink it. It was too much. All a trick of the eye. When people drink alcohol out of a short glass they tend to drink 20-30 percent more. The wine glasses I've seen lately look like bowls with stems.

 

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Ask for the take home container when you get your meal. If you know you won't take it with you because your hotel doesn't have a fridge, then physically separate your food on your plate to eat only the amount you want. If you're someone who picks at their food as long as it's there, pour salt or water over what's left so it doesn't tempt you.

 

Don't eat your per diem. I can't stress this enough. When you are a business traveler you may feel like your meal money is use it or lose it so you order an entree, app and maybe even a dessert. It's okay to lose your money so you don't gain the pounds. You're not stickin' it to the corporate man by eating up your per diem. You're stickin' it to your butt, thighs and gut.

 

Have any hacks to trick your brain? Share in the comments.

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jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects