Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach?

October 15, 2012 BY: LISA

It’s an old saying but generally true. When I speak to people who are trying to lose weight often the focus is the serve size of the evening meal. We all perceive that our meal size is “normal” but what exactly is normal. We never truly get to see how large an average meal for any other family is unless we live with them for a while. Think about it, when we go to other people’s houses to eat they are putting on a “feast” to entertain you- it is most likely not how they eat every day.

Brian Wansink in his book “mindless eating” has found the larger the portion on the plate the more people will eat. If we do this over a long period of time it is likely that we will either put on weight or maintain a weight higher than what we are happy with, by slightly over eating every day.

You have the choice to make different decisions and create some changes in the way you do things.

Top Tips for getting less on your plate:

  • Preparing less- as you cut up and prepare ingredients start to get a feel for how much food is going on each plate- stop chopping when you have enough!
  • Putting left over’s in the fridge and making another meal out of it, instead of eating it all now.
  • Put your leftovers away in the fridge straight away so there is no warm tempting food around.
  • Dishing up a smaller portion and reassuring yourself, “It’s okay, if I get hungry later I can always have something else to eat, but right now I am going to wait and see if that happens.”
  • Dish up food on a  smaller plate
  • Prepare more vegetable and less meat and pasta/rice/potato
  • Make sure you aren’t too hungry for the meal- everyone has less control over the amount they eat if you get too hungry.

Test out the theory that your eyes are bigger than your stomach, from my own experience I reckon it’s true.


Lisa Renn

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)



  1. I would like to add to the list “sit down while eating.” Most people tend to overeat because they stand up near the kitchen counter where more food is very accessible to them. Sitting down, preferably far from the kitchen counter, takes advantage of people’s laziness so they don’t go up for more servings as much.

    Kurt Lao
    November 14th, 2012
  2. totally agree Kurt.

    Lisa Renn
    March 25th, 2014
  3. Thanks for sharing Jill

    Best Regards

    Pick Shape
    April 6th, 2016
  4. Pleasure Jill, hope it was useful.

    Lisa Renn
    June 23rd, 2016

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