Want to lose weight? Buy smaller dinner plates.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 05:14 by The Lunatic

Last summer, as we were moving from Washington DC to Switzerland, our flight was delayed by more than eight hours on the first leg of our journey.  Grrrrr.  Of course, we missed our connection. And we missed every other possible flight from Newark to anywhere in Europe – so we had to spend the night. Ahhhh ... back in wonderful Newark, New Jersey.  I guess I can’t say TOO many bad things about Newark because I have relatives there – but I think most people would agree that it’s not the most appealing place in the world. Let’s say it’s a few notches above Iraq, maybe not quite as nice as Zimbabwe.

After a bit of haranguing, the airline was kind enough to pay for a room at the local Holiday Inn as compensation for the inexcusable delay , and to get me out of their hair and out of the airport they gave us some meal vouchers as well (really, we could have DRIVEN from Washington DC to Newark and we would have made our connecting flight with time to spare!)

So the next morning, we had our last meal in the USA.  Connected to the Holiday Inn is Harold’s New York Deli (don’t let the name fool you, it’s really in Edison, New Jersey) where they claim to have the World’s Largest Pickle Bar. They serve half pound burgers for lunch ... and really big pancakes for breakfast.  Not just your “ordinary” big pancakes, the pancakes at Harold’s New York Deli are advertised as “Monster Size” and they run $9.95 each ($19.95 for a stack of three). I suggested to my two kids that they share one (recommended on the menu) but of course they each wanted one of their own. And we had the airline meal vouchers to pay for it, so what the heck?

The pancakes show up and these suckers are 18 inches across, about three quarters of an inch thick, flopping over the side of the plates.  My kids didn’t even finish an eighth of their pancake – and we ended up taking most of it with us on the plane to Switzerland.

As I looked around the restaurant, I was disgusted to see that NO ONE in the restaurant was able to finish their breakfast – and less than half of the patrons took the leftovers to go. The rest of these pancakes, pounds and pounds and pounds and pounds of uneaten food, are just tossed in the garbage every day without a thought. THAT’S why I am so disgusted with the United States. How did we get to the point where we are fat and lazy and we order huge portions that we can’t finish and throw most of it in the garbage. But I digress.

So anyway, we show up in Basel, which is our new home town, and got situated in a furnished apartment where we stayed for three months while we looked for a house to rent. The apartment had your typical “corporate” furnishings with typical “European” dishes and cups – meaning that they were substantially smaller than what we are used to in the US.

After a few weeks of using these smaller dinner plates, I realized that we were all eating less. And I was drinking a lot less coffee as well – when you refill your cup three times, you get a sense that you are “done”.  But the cups were about a third the size of my “American” coffee cup.

All my life, I’ve always heard people ask the question of why Europeans in general don’t have as many obesity issues as the U.S. has, when the food is richer and they eat more cheese and other fatty foods (especially in France and Italy). 

The answer is that they eat in moderation. Smaller portions. Only one helping. Real meats and fresh fruits & vegetables, instead of fast food. And a lot less chemically enhanced synthetic protein sludge formed into the shape of a burger with biosynthesized flavorings and specially designed addictive agents that just make you want MORE.

After three months in the apartment, we finally moved in to our house and unpacked all of our clothes and books and DVD’s ... and our “American” size cups and plates. The first night that I made dinner in our new home, I repeated a dish that I had just made the week before with the same sized portions – but this time the dinner looked quite small on our big plates. Frankly, I was astounded at how much empty area there was on the plate around the food. And now, three months later, I notice that overall we ARE eating more than we did in the apartment.

I’ve been saying this for twenty years, but it bears repeating: forget the fad diets. Don’t worry about high protein or low protein or low carbs or whatever. The physics of metabolizing food haven’t changed – if you consume less calories than you burn, you WILL lose weight. And personally, I think that losing weight should not be the goal. For most people, the goal should be to be more physically fit.  Get more exercise and live a healthier life, and weight loss will come as a side effect of that. If you need a little help with the will power, try AloeControl as an appetite suppressant. You gotta admit, the stuff really does work.

And then, you just need to buy some smaller plates. Sheesh, could it really be that easy?

Categories:   Social Issues
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Comments (2) -

January 14. 2011 07:32

Smaller plates, you say? Like in that joke about a fancy restaurant:
- How do you find your meat?
- Hardly.


October 16. 2014 04:09

This is an interesting concept..typically I don't really fill my dinner plate and if I want seconds I would go back for more and refill anyways. It might work for some people, but might not for others.


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