Dec 15, 2020

How much can you eat?

How many idlis can you eat for breakfast? 

What's your "Capacity"? I can easily eat 4 rice idlis / 3 millet idlis. But do we have to eat according to our capacity every time? 

How much to eat for a given meal depends on multiple factors - appetite level, physical activity/energy expended, the taste of the food, time in hand, eating awareness etc. This is our "Limit" for a given meal.

I had prepared saamai (little millet) idlis and coriander coconut chutney for breakfast this morning. Instead of loading up my plate to my capacity, I decided to serve myself only 2 millet idlis. As I focused on chewing the idlis and eating mindfully, I felt that 2 idlis were sufficient for me today. I didn't go for the 3rd.

I have found this little tip to be quite helpful in controlling my portion size and avoid overeating. 

If you are serving food to a family member, do not load up their plate by default with the capacity they usually eat. Let them finish the food served and ask for a second helping IF needed. 

Appa always says this - "limit aa saapidanum" (eat within limits). I have observed how he sticks to his 2 cups of coffee per day limit for decades. Though he can now financially afford to drink more than that, he wouldn't exceed this limit. Even while I ask him if I can make him a cup of coffee around 11 AM, he would decline.

Just because we can drink 6-7 cups of tea/coffee per day (out of boredom, habit, addiction etc) doesn't mean we do that every single day.

There is a difference between our Capacity and our Limit. 

Eating within limits is a better, easy-to-implement technique than restricting completely, which in turn leads to more cravings.

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