Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Will Miss #208 - healthy portion sizes

This picture is supposed to be ironic in light of the contents of this post. I thought I'd better make that clear for the humor-impaired.

When I say "healthy", I don't mean "big", but rather the right size for a person to consume and maintain a healthy body weight. Like many foreigners who first arrive in Japan, I thought that the portion sizes were puny for the cost and was critical of them because I felt they represented poor value. What I have discovered is that these sizes are actually much closer to what one should eat to stay at a healthy body weight. In the U.S., we used to have a restaurant culture which gave us large portions so we could take home leftovers and enjoy one more experience with the restaurant's food. Now, we just overfeed ourselves on huge portions and think this is normal. There has been a domino effect to this in that people scale everything up, including food prepared at home, in accord with the cultural norms in regards to portion sizes. Being in Japan has really helped me learn to eat less because the portion sizes here have acclimated me to a different serving size.

I'll miss getting closer to the "right" amount of food when eating out rather than being continuously overfed.