Copyright © 2011 DayOne Publishing. All rights reserved.
Balance and Harmony
One way to help yourself gain back control of your eating is to be the person who puts food on your own plate whenever possible.
That's pretty difficult in a restaurant, where someone in the kitchen is making that decision. But in many other places---at home, at buffets, at pot luck dinners, at picnics---you can be the one who makes the decisions of how much food is on your plate.
The 50-80 Rule is a powerful but simple method of mindfully controlling your portions and servings. Use it any time you have control over how much food is on your plate.
Here are the details of the 50-80 Rule:
- When you use this Rule, remind yourself that you can go back for as many helpings of food as you like.
- On your first helping, put food on your plate so that 50% of your plate is still visible. In other words, the food should cover only 50% of your plate, leaving the other 50% exposed.
- Eat the food mindfully, carefully, attentively. Use the Basic Mindful Bite as much as possible. This is the key step. You want to make this first serving last as long as possible. You want to give your system time to begin digesting what you've eaten. When you do this, you allow a smaller portion of food to be satisfying to your hunger.
- When you're done with your first serving, you may go back for seconds. When you go back, however, you're going to have a much smaller helping. For this serving, put only enough food on your plate so the 80% of your plate is still visible (only 20% of the plate is covered by food). Eat this serving mindfully as well.
- You may have thirds, fourths, etc., but be sure to follow the "80" Rule for these servings and eat them slowly and attentively.
- If you take dessert, use a smaller plate (like a dessert plate) and follow the "80" Rule.
Some CAMPers have reported that using this 50-80 Rule alone has been enough to lose or maintain weight!
A variant is to decide in advance to leave the table when you are
80% full. Within 10 minutes of leaving the table you will feel full, but you will have eaten just a moderate amount.
Do this with every meal and see the difference. You will prepare less food, save money and gradually lose weight.
Auckland, New Zealand