“Life is like a box of chocolates,” drawled Forrest Gump.
Metaphors are great. Writers use them all the time because, simply put, they get your attention and really drive a point home.
That’s because life and a box of chocolates have as much in common as French Toast for breakfast and a French Toast to your health.
But you know a punch line is coming to connect the dots and relate two ridiculously unrelated things. So you wait, listening sharply to catch the thread that makes it make sense.
“You never know what you are going to get.” Aaahhh, riiigghhtt!
The mismatch, mental twisting, and surprise resolution slam the point home. There. That’s the micro-anatomy of our most common literary tool. So how about a metaphor for eating healthy?
Losing weight is like eating a single scoop death-by-chocolate ice cream cone. Okay, that nailed the “man, this strains reason” Garcinia Slim Xtra part. But now let me explain.
First of all, real connoisseurs know that you must linger over your ice cream: chasing runners, keeping it off the pavement, and pushing it right to the bottom of the cone without bathing in it. These are all vital factors. It’s a process.
And that’s the point. It just takes time, and when you’re finished with that ball, you think … perfect!
Now imagine that same single scoop of ice cream, but this time placed in the deep empty hollow of a cereal bowl. We see it down there, sad and lonely, and invariably decide that it needs 3 more scoop buddies.
That’s because we believe we are getting gypped somehow if our food doesn’t fill the space.
Now. What does this have to do your dinner tonight? Well, the space you serve your food in matters. If you put dinner on a gigantic platter, you’ll end up with helpings 2, 3, and 4 on the plate all at the same time. And if it’s in front of you … you’re going to eat it.
So a basic message you can take home and try tonight is simply to begin on smaller plates. This trick exploits one of the bedrock laws of the Universe.
There’s four of them in all: E=MC2, Finder’s Keeper’s, The Conservation of Matter and Energy, and the big one – Your Eyes Are Bigger Than Your Stomach.
Simply handling this last law prevents the drastic overeating so typical of American buffet trough-feeders. And, repealing this law of nature doesn’t require any higher math or even a physics degree.
Take the first step to solving your portion problems by beginning with a smaller space for your food. Next, eat your food like you eat your ice cream – a little at a time. Enjoy it by making it last.
Small bites increase the length and pleasure of the meal. When your focus is more on enjoyment than consumption, that smaller amount becomes … perfect!
Your calories drop with your portion sizes and you love your food more – just like lingering over your single scoop death-by-chocolate ice cream cone!
Dr. Will Clower is the award-winning author of The Fat Fallacy and founder of The PATH Curriculum, The PATH Online, and Newsletter.
The PATH: America’s weight solution.