Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do you suffer from portion paralysis?

What's portion paralysis?

That's when your brain and your eyes have become so accustomed to a particular portion size for a particular meal, that change isn't even remotely automatic.

But sometimes it's wise to reduce portions.

Take me for instance. In December I injured my back - pretty badly. Consequently my exercise regime went out the window. Rehab was very slow. Despite knowing better, I didn't adjust my portions with my drop off in exercise and sure enough, over 3 months time, I gained a tiny bit of weight.

When I realized what was going on, I resumed keeping a careful food diary and re-recognized which were my higher calorie meals.

One really stuck with me. It was pita pizza - a go-to meal for when I'm in a hurry and I want comfort-y food, but certainly not terrifically low in calories. Back in my exercising days, I'd have 3 pitas worth, and so my simple quick fix, was to downshift my pita pizza portion to only have 2. What was fascinating to me, was that especially when I was in a hurry or distracted, despite mentally decided to eat less, sometimes I'd literally forget.

And sometimes I still do, and before I know it, there are 3 out on the pizza stone.

It's important for me to mention, it's not because I'm still hungry after 2, that I eat 3. I think that it's just after years of always having 3, unless I consciously challenge my portion sizes, whether it's pita pizzas or otherwise, I automatically revert to my established larger portions.

I've lost the weight I gained, and I'm slowly starting to retrain, but given this experience I've taken to really analyzing what I feel I need portion wise prior to cooking or plating, and more often than not, I'm having just a tiny bit less than what had become habitual, and more importantly, I'm not missing what's gone.

Do you have any automated portions?