How Your Portions Take Care of Themselves

I want to speak once again about a massive misconception, namely that obesity is an overindulged state. It is not. The reason that your appetite increases right along with your waistline is that the bigger you are, the more malnourished you become. And the more malnourished you are, the hungrier you get.

So this means that portion control is not a solution, but rather a consequence of improving your nutrition. It happens by itself when you begin to eat in a way that supports your good health. The more nutritious food you eat, the more nourished you become, the more weight you “release,” the better your pants fit, and the more reasonable your appetite gets.

Have you ever said to yourself, “Why, oh why, did I drink so much olive oil?” Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow, I shouldn’t have eaten so much fruit salad!”? Of course not. Foods that are nutritious send signals to our brains to put the brakes on automatically when we’ve had enough.

In contrast, items without nutritional value send no such signal. So it’s easy to eat too much candy, too many potato chips, half a pan of brownies, a sleeve of Thin Mints, and two full orders of deep-fried whatever. Even on the same day.

That’s why the solution to overweight is not to eat less but to eat better. It’s why I want a lot of peanuts (or edamame or walnuts or almonds or chickpeas) in my salad. Because that salad is going to fill me up and stick to my ribs a lot more if I add plenty of nutritious oil and protein to that gorgeous colorful salad. And I also want the salad dressing to be made with something rich and nourishing like olive oil or tahini, either of which will make the salad taste fabulous and satisfy me for at least a few hours. Fat-free salad dressing is not food. Neither is anything else made with corn syrup.

Portion control is a separate issue from nutritional density. Eat more nutritious food, and your portions will begin to take care of themselves.

4 thoughts on “How Your Portions Take Care of Themselves

  1. Although this may be true for some people. I have to say that I and many people in my entourage have struggled with weight for a long time despite eating a generally nutritious diet. The problem was not only physical, but also mental. I think that one’s relationship to food should be addressed and acknowledged first and foremost in trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

    • I feel for you and your struggle. I believe that certain types of metabolisms are so exquisitely sensitive to certain food groups, such as grain and/or dairy, for 2 examples, that they cannot meet their goals without restricting those foods to a significant degree. I also think that although a generally nutritious diet is good enough for many, there are some for whom it is not. I wish you well, and hope that you continue to find your way. One eating program I have seen that addresses emotional relationships to food is called TrimLife. We run it at the Cleveland Clinic and it has been of real help to a great many people.

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