Skinny Daily Post


This morning as I was cutting up some fresh strawberries for breakfast, I was reminded of one my key theories. Namely, the larger a piece of fruit is, the less likely it is to taste like what I’m looking for. This holds especially true for apples, tomatoes, and any kind of berry. When I shop, I instinctively hunt for the smallest bananas, the tiniest apples, and the most diminutive fruits and veggies.

In fact, as I tasted this morning’s breakfast results, the very large berries I cut up (and they were HUGE) tasted bland — pulpy strands of nothingness. The two very tiny strawberries at the bottom of the pint, however, were heavenly. I actually had to sprinkle a little sugar free, fat free jello powder on the large berries to give them a little oomph.

Like many people of my acquaintance, I tend to be a volume eater. As a result, I’m more likely to be satisfied with an entire head of cooked broccoli than I am with a tiny square of the most exquisite chocolate. I’m not saying that one is a substitute for the other. Its just that when I get to eat a lot of ANYTHING it seems to provide me with more pleasure.

I’m sure there are evolutionary and biological reasons to automatically reach for the larger size of anything. Devin, who is at a healthy normal weight and always has been, still fills his plate and goes for the largest serving size of anything. It would make sense that in ‘nature’ human beings would strive to maximize their food stores.

The difference is, Devin is easily able to stop when he’s satisfied and quite often he’ll eat a reasonable portion no matter how high he has piled his plate. Whereas I never seem to stop eating until the metal of my utensil is scraping the clear white ceramic surface of my own cleaned-off plate.

I don’t feel gluttonous or particularly greedy in terms of my food choices. But last night when Devin asked for a bite of my Skinny Cow I practically freaked out. He laughed and said ‘I’m just teasing, but honestly, you are really stingy about sharing.’

It doesn’t seem likely that I’m ever going to overcome my genetic programming on this. And as I have become slender and worked my serving sizes down to smaller, more reasonable amounts, I actually feel even LESS inclined to share with anyone else.

But I really need to think about those berries. Its just a fact that sometimes, smaller is better.

8 thoughts on “Size Matters

  1. maggie says:

    Good thinking, Jonathan. That’s exactly why most “diet” foods never worked for me, because I always thrived on quantity, I just ate twice as much. Besides, they usually tasted not so hot, ergo I needed more to get my hit… It just always ended badly. I finally figured out that I was always searching for that fullness in my stomach to “fix” me. More and more my dessert of choice has been some truly excellent dark chocolate, but I still have to struggle to not chomp it down, and let it melt in my mouth.

  2. Josie says:

    Thank God I’m not the only adult on this planet who has issues sharing their favorite food! I would have an entire LARGE bag of movie-theatre popcorn, smothered in butter…and would want to smack my husband’s hand away when he would ask for a single handful… How bad is that? He used to joke about it with me too…he thought I was being greedy, but as you know, it’s probably worse. I’ve gotten much better, but it still panics me from time to time! 😉

  3. loki says:

    this is exactly my problem too – I eat healthier than everyone I know but its the quantity that ruins my efforts.

    and we struggle on…

  4. Laura says:

    Loki – the same for me. And I can relate to Jane who writes here as well with the stress of her Alzheimer mom.

    I’m really going through some terrible stress with my teenaged son right now and when that happens the thought of counting and weighing and thinking about every morsel going into my mouth sends me over the edge with everything else I’m doing. I don’t know why I resent it so much and why it feels so much like work.

    So, even though I eat healthy, I eat too much and I’m still a size 22. I just want to get it all together somehow but I feel more despondent every day.

  5. stretchy says:

    bananas … it took me a while to figure out that I could cut a large one in half, freeze half for later, and that way get the snack I actually wanted… a banana and some nuts.
    it also took me awhile to figure that just a handful of nuts was plenty.

    this would have seemed absurd a few years ago, to be satisfied with a snack of smaller size. but it does take the stomach some time to tell the brain… “Oh yeah, by the way, I ate something nutritious about er, 15 minutes ago, and um, I’m Okay!”

    That time lapse does exist and it caused me to want “bigger, more, more”

  6. london slimmer says:

    Like most of you, I like quantity, too. My approach is to eat bucketloads of veggies, at least three different kinds, with every meal – steamed, raw, roasted in 1/2 tbsp. olive oil or any which way. I’ve never weighed or measured veggies or counted their calories (except for avocados, corn on the cob and whole baked sweet potatoes) and that does give me a feeling of freedom. I pile my plate very high and know that it won’t do significant damage. It feels satisfying chomping through all those veggies with a pair of chopsticks.

    My husband and I have taken to always sharing a main course when we are out in a restaurant to halve the calories but he carefully divides said meal up and places it onto two plates. Somehow, I don’t feel comfortable when we have to eat from the same plate, especially as he eats faster than me…

    There are a few things which work for me in small quantities, though – VERY dark chocolate (99%), marmite and gentleman’s relish (do you have that over there?). Things that take ages to eat like pistachios in their shells and ditto prawns are good, too – but on the whole, when I see how little of some foods I can eat for a reasonable number of calories, I usually prefer just to leave them.

  7. Kristin says:

    It’s not just smaller that is usally better, but smaller and DENSER. Try picking fruits and vegetables that feel heavy for their size, and you’ll generally get tastier selections.

  8. Zentient says:

    I had a moment of awareness at McDonald’s. I got a yogurt with fruit instead of a Big Mac, and was feeling good about the choice, when somebody bumped into me and caused the yogurt to spill out about a tablespoon. I was instantly furious over getting cheated out of that tablespoon, then calmed down and realized the insanity of that anger.

    Someone talked about eating half of what they usually eat of something, which further erodes the lie that eating right it too expensive. It is an enjoyable challenge to find the best fruits and vegetables that are on sale and make them into a great meal.

    It’s strange how huge some of that produce has gotten, and poor quality as the size increases. I weighed this one apple, and it was one pound. That’s just weird. Other food, like chicken is the same way. I ate fresh farm chickens my grandma raised, and I remember much smaller pieces and incredible taste that is now gone. What sells is important to the food industry, not what is healthful.

    One of the best discoveries for freshly cooked vegetables is the seasoned salt Spike.


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