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MindErrantry's avatar

Why can't we accurately judge amounts of food?

Asked by MindErrantry (821points) February 26th, 2009

It’s so easy to overeat when serving yourself—you look at your food, decide it’s not enough, add more… half an hour later, you hate yourself. I keep telling myself to take less at the dining hall, but only rarely does this work. Why are our eyes bigger than our stomachs?

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Why not take smallish portions and then plan to go back for seconds, if that is an option at your dining room? The expression “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach” became part of the common parlance for a reason.

Darwin's avatar

Try using a smaller plate (bring your own if you have to).

scamp's avatar

Try using smaller plates. (I see darwin got here before me with that idea!) It gives the illusion of eating more than you actually are. are. Also.. stop when you are no longer hungry instead when you are full.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Our eyes and our imaginations. We see the food and anticipate the yumminess and we want as much of it as we think we can get away with. I love food. I am shocked that I am not bigger than I am, given how much chow I’ve scarfed down in my life. But now, yes, I use smaller plates. I wait between bites. I eat away from distractions, otherwise I will lose track of how much food I’m eating.

I remember in school doing myself in with desserts. I never grew up with cheesecake or strawberry shortcake, or the mounds of ice cream that came from the school’s own dairy! It took so long to lose that freshman 20…

marinelife's avatar

Because restaurants and food manufacturers have made serving sizes larger and larger.

Here is an easy visual guide. It was very eye-opening to look at the first time I saw it.

laureth's avatar

Back in the day (early scavenging-gathering times), there wasn’t a terribly good way to preserve food. You ate it, or it went bad (or someone else ate it instead of you). So when there was food, we learned to gobble it right away and store it as fat.

Nowadays, we’re no longer in that kind of crisis mode, but when the animal-brain sees a laden buffet, it’s still our instinct to pile it on as if we don’t know when we’ll eat next.

poofandmook's avatar

Eat slower! The best time, I find, to eat is when you’re in a discussion with someone… you’re both too busy talking to eat fast, and then you’re full before you know it.

TenaciousDenny's avatar

Because we’re fat lazy Americans and we’re used to giant portions!!!

gailcalled's avatar

I grew up with 6 oz. coke (glass) bottles. That seemed fine.

And today’s bagels look as though they had swallowed several bagels themselves.

MindErrantry's avatar

I’m very bad at eating slower! This has always been a problem for me. Conversation helps, but what to do when there’s not a lot of time to spend at dinner?

We do have giant plates at the cafeteria; I’ve been trying to use the smaller ones, but they’re not available at all the stations… I think sometimes the main problem with me specifically is that our cafeteria tends to put all the good foods on one night, and so you’ve got to get them then! yet I managed to lose a lot of weight freshman year… now I fear it returneth

Judi's avatar

When I lived in a dorm (a million years ago) I started skipping the lunch line and only eating at the salad bar.I actually lost weight my freshman year!

dragonflyfaith's avatar

@poofandmook I’ve found eating with chop sticks works for me. I’m not very good with them.

ignorantsavage's avatar

when you cook are you really hungry caus thats when your animal “me hungry” insticts kick in.

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