Here's a story of American portion sizes for you! Hubby and I went out to dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants. It's a local pub type place, but here in Seattle, even pubs cater to foodies. They have amazing burgers, and you have the option of the usual side of fries, or you can sub soup or salad for a dollar more. The waitress seemed pretty excited about the soup of the day and fries are definitely out for me, so I went with soup. It was a pork stew, really like a posole, but with some veggie additions. They brought it out and I was expecting a cup of soup, but this was a big bowl! All I kept thinking was that it was the same size as what I eat for lunch - and next to it my burger just kept sitting patiently. And the soup was soooo good! So in the end I just ate my soup, took one nibble of my burger, stole a couple of Hubby's fries, and now I have my entree sitting in the fridge.
It just seems crazy that I got so much food. And what's even crazier is that a year ago I would've eaten the whole thing. It's amazing how you train your body to consume more and more. If you just get used to eating what is a normal amount for a human to actually live on, it FEELS like enough. But most of us have never really had that - we've always had way too much.
I'm not talking about trying intuitive eating - I don't think that's actually possible in our society. I really don't. It's human biology to eat more - we're built to consume more when there's food available for when there are times of famine. When we're served huge portions of food, we eat more. Period. We're very visual. It takes concious effort and a concious choice to say, "I'm only going to eat this much. That's it." Intuitive eating seems too risky for those of us who have a tendency to just eat a little more, and a little more, oh - and maybe just a little bit more. I know that my body takes longer to recognize that it's full. Other people who are thinner than myself seem to have a better handle on the fullness cue - I just don't. I'll keep eating until I'm sick if I let myself. My BIG problem is alcohol - it lowers my inhibitions and helps me to think that it's okay if I just have a little more, and before I know it, I've eaten it all!
I think making most of my food at home has been the biggest step forward for me. Now when I go out, I just can't get over the amount of food! It seems like so much. So the challenge now is not to let myself slide into that mindset of just having a little bit more, and a little bit more, and... you get the idea.