Eating for Gold - confessions of an Olympic level eater!
When I was growing up, I was the second fastest eater in my family - giving my Dad a good run for his money. I much preferred my Dad's approach to food - he enjoyed every mouthful and had a way of eating that made food look absolutely delicious. I can still picture him eating toast with butter and marmalade at Sunday breakfast and I am sure that's where my bread festish comes from.
So me and Dad were the quick eaters, or so I thought! And then I started eating with boys.... My goodness they were quick, and when I was a flat sharing student, I had to learn to eat even faster or I'd miss pudding! I shared the table with guys from families where if you didn't eat quicker than everyone else, they'd eat your dinner when they'd finished theirs. Kids from large families were Usain Bolt level Olympic scoffers and they were ruthless. I had to step up to the plate (sorry!).
Then you start pairing up with someone special and it all goes off again. You start off with the Scarlett O'Hara approach to eating (you eat like a bird when you're with them and scoff in secret) but gradually you relax and over time your eating patterns, like the rest of your life, synchronise.
If you're like me, before you know it, you're eating man-sized meals at speed and going up for seconds. Not good for the waistline and being in relationships can really make me fat. I only realised the damage I was doing when I started using the food diary on the TescoDiets website. I got a big shock when I realised just how many calories I was shifting - more than double what I actually needed.
When we both started on the healthy eating, we cut down on the amount of fatty food we ate, but I needed to cut down more than that. Now I am not the sort of person who can sit down to dinner with a tiny plate if others are eating their fill, I feel deprived and unhappy and I will crack. So instead of eating off a saucer with a teaspoon, I changed the balance of food on our plates. I make sure I have a bit less protein, a lot fewer carbs and a massive amount of healthy veg to give me a nice big plate of healthy food. I can still have seconds too - usually more veg.
It's a well known phenomenon; how quickly we eat and how much we eat change to match the people we eat with. It's not a conscious thing, we just all keep up with each other. This is most likely to happen when we we're getting to know people and I guess that sets the scene.
I know I'm very susceptible to the influence of other people, it's just how I am. And because of that, it's easier for me to go with that rather than try and fight against myself. So far so good, my ploy seems to be working.
How do you manage? Have you got all the family on a diet or do you eat different meals? Does it work?
Have a great week and take care