Eat Everything on Your Plate?
by Tony Yost
I donâ€™t know about you, but I was raised to eat everything on my plate at meals. I believe the reasoning had something to do with hungry Asian youths. I was not allowed to leave the table until I had cleaned my plate. Sometimes that meant sitting there for a couple of hours waiting to see who would give in first. A couple of times I tried to sneak the remaining vegetable into the trash without being seen. I had a lot of trouble with the â€świthout being seenâ€ť part.
(And now for something completely different) I was talking with my friend the other day. He now works with several people from other countries. He said they were commenting about the huge meal sizes at most restaurants. I told him I thought the restaurant industry found that larger portions were an easy way of selling more food. This, of course, meant they would make more money. And you canâ€™t argue with that. When you go to pay the bill, you canâ€™t say you didnâ€™t get your moneyâ€™s worth.
Ok, some of you already see where Iâ€™m going with thisâ€¦ If Iâ€™ve been trained to eat everything on my plate, and the restaurant delivers huge servings, then one of two things is going to happen. Either I, too, will become huge, or I will have to reverse my ingrained habit of eating it all.
The other piece of the puzzle for me is that, for business reasons, I learned to eat very fast. If I didnâ€™t, I wouldn’t be able to finish everything on my plate.
People well versed in science tell me that it takes 20 minutes for a full stomach to notify the brain. (Itâ€™s a good thing that it doesnâ€™t take your fingers 20 minutes to tell your brain that they are touching a hot stove!). I donâ€™t know why the stomach and brain have this relationship, but it comes in handy when youâ€™re trying to finish a huge portion of food before your brain figures out whatâ€™s going on.
Ok, so to summarizeâ€¦ Iâ€™m given a very generous portion of food that I must completely finish, quickly. See the challenge here?
Iâ€™ve not had much luck getting the restaurants to serve me half portions (and charge me half price). My wife and I like different foods, so sharing is usually out.
So, it looks like the solution, at least for me is:
- Slow down, so my brain can find out that Iâ€™ve had enough in time to do something about it.
- After my brain figures out that Iâ€™m full, STOP EATING! Even if there is still food on my plate. (That is sooo hard).
And most importantly, I am NOT training my children they have to eat everything that gets served to them! In fact, I praise them when they quit because they are full.
How about you? Can you relate?