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My Journey to becoming a Nobel Woman – Day 18

January 21, 2010

Eat Reasonable Portions

Scripture to Memorize:

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
Proverbs 31:14-15

Passage to Read: Proverbs 4:20-23 Today’s passage advises us to heed God’s Word and keep it close to our heart. If we do this we will find that their is life and health for our whole body.

Personal Observations:

We learn from Proverbs 31:14-15 that the noble wife provides both food and portions for those under her care. Do you realize that most Americans have a severe case of portion distortion? I know I’ve seen those photos of plate servings in foreign restaurants and always think what measly portions, who can afford to pay for those when you’re going to walk away hungry. What about you? Well, with our American Portion Distortion problem a normal portion looks downright puny!

Donna put this in the book, it’s based on a study done at Rutgers University:

“compared what people currently perceive to be a typical portion size to what was perceived as appropriate two decades ago. More than 175 young adults were invited to select typical portions of 8 meal items for breakfast or 6 for lunch and dinner. Their selections were compared with a similar study conducted 20 years previously. The foods with the greatest difference in portion size between the two studies were those served and consumed from a cup or bowl. Servings of orange juice, cornflakes, and milk increased by 40, 20 and 30 percent, respectively.”

To get an idea what a reasonable portion of food looks like:

Do you realize that thanks to supersizing America has become a nation of inadvertent gluttons? This happens both in our homes and while dining out. How many of you choose to supersize you meal simply because it seems the better value money wise? I know I’m guilty of that, after all why just get the sandwich and the drink when you can get the meal for only a dime more, or sometimes it is even less? At one time the Christian church looked at gluttony as one of the most serious sins, in fact, it made the Seven Deadly Sins list! “At its core, gluttony proves we value the flesh more than the spirit.” Today I think most of us still look at gluttony as a bad thing but we don’t view our over-sized portions as gluttony which is why I think we fell into this deadly trap (because it is deadly as proven by the increase in diet-related health issues).

Do you realize that, according to George Vaillant who wrote Aging Well, that being overweight is one of the top six hindrances to aging well? That is right up there with smoking and alcohol abuse! The opposite also holds true, leading predictors of longevity is moderate eating and a healthy body weight. (Low caloric intake is important.)

Smaller portions are the key — not deprivation. I truly believe that when we attempt to deprive our bodies of those sweet things we crave we make them bigger than they need to be in our lives. Try controlling the amount you eat. Instead of eating the entire King Size bag of M&M’s eat a handful. Instead of 6 cookies, eat one Instead of the whole candy bar, indulge and buy the best quality chocolate bar you can and limit yourself to 1 or 2 squares of it a day. You’ll be amazed at how the better quality means you can eat less and still satisfy your chocolate craving!

Moderation is the key. Of course, our American society is pretty much anti-moderation. Are you willing to go against the flow?

One of the most taxing jobs our body does is digesting our food. When we overeat, we force our body to devote too much time and energy doing this job. We’re wearing our bodies out because we are overworking them in this area (and probably most of us our physically under-working our bodies because we are too tire from devoting all that time and energy to digesting our food!).

Starting to day let’s try a new strategy — don’t clean your plate! Whoa! Wait a minute! (I can hear you saying it.) I know your mom always said clean your plate. Think of all the starving children in the world that would love to have what you have on your plate. Am I right? Well….Did the “well, box up whats left and send it to them — I’m stuffed” thought ever cross your mind growing up? I know it did mine. I think all too often we forget to listen to our bodies telling us to stop — it was probably trained out of many of us growing up when we joined the “Clean Your Plate” club. The only exception to leaving food on your plate should be raw or steamed vegetables. Before you say “that’s wasteful!” answer this question: Would you rather be wasteful or waist-full? Eventually you know what you can eat comfortable and learn to only put that amount on your plate, until then — leave something behind. If you still feel wasteful — put what’s left in a container to eat later (when you’re hungry).

Practical Application:

Begin using an eight- or nine-inch plate (think typical luncheon size plate) versus the typical eleven- or twelve-inch dinner plate. Limit your seconds only to vegetables. Consciously reduce your portion sizes and DON’T clean your plate. You can find a helpful tool at The Portion Plate. They even have two plates available, one for adults and one for children.

How are you doing at increasing your vegetables and water? I did a little better at lunch today — still need to work more on my water intake.

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