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MIREILLE’S MUSINGS: Out of proportion

I was recently interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, and the article, “A problem of grand proportions,” is worth a read (my interview is at the end of the piece, 2nd page). The article looks at our huge portion sizes, which in my experience is a diet catastrophe here in the US (and spreading elsewhere). One expert in the article remarks that "Since 1960, the average size of dinnerware has increased 11 percent…That almost doubles the surface area.” If the reader emails I receive are any indication, making a portion size adjustment is pretty tough on people once they’re used to giant bowls of pasta, to name one common offender, rather than a more reasonable 4 oz serving. It’s best to make the adjustment gradually (peu à peu). I’ve recommended a few useful tools over the years, such as eating slowly and mindfully—making less feel like more—and using the 50 percent solution. The biggest key is to focus on quality and sit down at a table to concentrate on what you’re eating, making a smaller quantity feel more satisfying.