Why I Only Eat Half

pesto-pasta-gt

I always only eat half.

Now it’s become such a habit that it’s something I just sort of do.

This little habit was picked up when I was attending San Diego State. Being a bartender I was constantly surrounded by delicious ( more like rich ) foods so I decided ‘shit, I want to enjoy my life…but in moderation.’ So every time I went out to eat ( or ate at my workplace ), I’d only eat half.

Since traveling is a big part of my life now, it’s definitely still a rule of thumb: only eat half.

First off, the portions are out of control in America as it is. I mean really though, have you guys been to The Cheesecake Factory lately? The portions are just absolutely ridiculous. Their entrees could serve a small country.

& ultimately I am a big believer in something called THE LONG GAME.

Playing the long game means seeing the bigger picture in every aspect of life. The short game doesn’t interest me. In fact, it’s kind of boring. & I’m up for the challenge of the long game. The way I ( try to ) eat is definitely for the long game. Small moderations every day, add up in the larger game of diet/health. Instead of starving myself for days to eat a huge bowl of pasta ( the short game ), I’d rather enjoy small portions of pasta a couple times a week when traveling, have a few bites, & move on with life.

I feel like when you let yourself enjoy what you want, you don’t feel deprived. And if you don’t feel deprived, you don’t end up shoving your face with crap you never wanted in the first place.

Is anyone with me on this?

This is how I order: typically I split an appetizer with Michael ( I like to go with proteins like ahi or Burrata Cheese covered with olive oil, tomatoes, & basil, the protein sort of fills me up so I’m not starving for a huge entree ). And then for my entree I’ll always order an appetizer, pasta, burger wrapped in lettuce, or a piece of fish ( sometimes I like grass fed steak too ). If I order the pasta, I will only eat half. ALWAYS. If I order an appetizer as an entree, I try to eat until I feel full instead of licking the plate clean. I sort of use my best judgement. If I order a beautiful piece of salmon, I’ll eat the salmon & veggies & only eat half of the rice. If I order a burger ( medium rare, add jalapeño, & extra avocado ), I cut it in half.

And when I say half, I mean half. In fact, I’m almost somewhat anal about eating half.

(…unless of course I’m in like Venice, Italy having the most romantic dinner ever with the best bottle of red wine & handmade pasta with Farmer’s market tomatoes…but you get it ).

By the way, I usually take the other half home or have Michael eat the other half if we’re traveling, so it doesn’t go to waste.

This post is just to share a little eating out tip that I practice and I feel like it makes a BIG difference in the LONG run. Also, I always feel satisfied. If I want a few bites of dessert, I’ll have some & move.

Oh, & another weird thing I do: I always order peppermint tea to end a meal. There’s something perfect about it & it leaves me feeling super full. Weird…?

Ok, so do you guys have any random habits like this? Any small habits that you think make a long term difference?

Happy Sunday, lauryn x

{ PC }

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69 replies to “Why I Only Eat Half”

    1. I love the challenge of only eating half. I feel accomplished whenever I see my plate with half of the food still on it. Thank for reading Pia <3

  1. Loved your thoughts on the short game and long game! I agree, life is for living and I love eating out, but I don’t like eating until I feel ill, so your halfsies concept is brilliant. Plus, sharing dishes with my husband is fun.

  2. I think this is the best habit to have! I started doing this in high school because I noticed that my mom has always done that. No matter what she eats, it is always half. And she is in her 50s now, but is skinny & toned (she teaches yoga too), so she is definitely an inspiration on staying fit! It really does help keep you from going overboard!

    1. Hi Alexis, your mom is so smart! I’m so glad I picked this little habit up, it’s a total game changer. Thanks for reading <3

  3. I love this! Thanks for sharing, I feel like I need to try this. I’m constantly trying to get into better/healthier eating habits. I love the idea of the long game versus the short game!

    1. Hi Liz, you should totally try it! Send me a pic via Snapchat or Instagram if you only eat half! Thanks for reading <3

  4. I LOVE this tip! I’m trying sososo hard to find real life ways to achieve that BALANCE because I always starve myself of treats and then BINGE HARD. It’s funny, because I already do this without realizing it! Im a bartender and eating healthy on this schedule is fucking hard! If I bring home dinner, Curtis and I will split it, so maybe it’s just time to start being really aware of that choice, ya know?

    Sorry for the long ass comment but this post got me all jazzed up ?

    1. Hi Jamie! I seriously love your comment. I agree though, being aware is half the battle. You’ll feel so proud of yourself every time you only eat half if you’re thinking about it! xx

  5. I love this and have been trying to do the same ever since I’ve seen your constant snaps on this 1/2 thing. It’s true that servings at restaurants are huge!

    Something I try to do, which is more on moving around is taking short walks throughout the day. I’m a blogger too and so being at our MacBooks all day can make us sluggish. I try to do social media posts on my walks or just enjoy the brain break!

    1. Hi Zully, walking is seriously SO important. I’m really trying to walk more as well. Where do you live? I live in a walkable area which I think helps a lot. I can walk to get coffee, walk the dogs in the park, grab a glass of wine. Thanks for reading <3

  6. I pretty much do the same thing/need to get back to doing that more consistently. I started a consulting job out of college that involved a lot of travel and dinners out. A lot of coworkers told me how they gained so much weight and I wanted none of that. So I adopted the “eat until you’re 6 or 7 fullness on a 1-10 fullness scale” and that resulted in.. eating about half of an entree. So I adopted this lifestyle and actually ended up losing weight rather than just avoiding gaining weight. So I lost weight eating whatever I wanted because I wasn’t eating a lot of it. Haters were like “ugh how do you eat whatever you want and stay so skinny. its not fair” because portions are huge and I make the decision not to eat it all! Smh people acting like I’m not trying to look this way.

    1. Hi Emily, LOVE your story. This is literally exactly why I always eat half. Completely cutting out things I love just doesn’t work and doesn’t make me happy. Love it. xx

  7. Love this suggestion! I recommend my clients eat half of what they want at restaurants and fill the other half of their plate with steamed veggies (broccoli, spinach etc.). The extra fiber helps keep you full and adds another serving of veggies to your day.

    1. Hi Anna, this is a great idea! I seriously LOVE broccoli. It’s so good for you + super low calorie. Thanks for reading <3

  8. I’m an obsessive researcher so I will check out the menu multiple times and plan with the husband on what to get. No menu rechecking or hmming-hahing at the restaurant to fatty foods. No persuasion from other company.

    1. Hi Jen, I love green tea! It’s so good for you. It’s great for inflammation, digestion, and overall metabolism function. Thanks for reading! xx

  9. LOVE this!

    Do you use this mentality always at home to? Or just went dining out and such? I really want to implement this into my life.

    xx

    1. Hi Kristen, I always eat half when dining out. Usually at home I make smaller portions because I’m cooking for myself so I don’t have to only eat half. Thanks for reading <3

  10. Love this idea and totally agree with everything in moderation! Another tip I have is when selecting which item from the menu I’m going to order, I choose something that will save well as leftovers since i already know I’m only eating half – that way, I’m getting 2 meals out of one! #girlonabudget xoxo!

    1. Love this idea!! Thanks Erin. Definitely going to keep leftover value in the back of mind from now on. xx

  11. Eating half is like one of my life goals. Which is so sad to say, ha.

    I eat something before I go out to eat too. I am vegan so I don’t always see the best options for me so I make sure to be a bit full before I go so I don’t like freak out and not talk to anyone because I am so hungry.

    This method is so key! I think I need to commit to it, and just get rid of half (box it up whatever) before it comes to the table.

    Also hard when your boyfriend is ordering two entrees next to you, LOL.

    xo have a good week!
    Krista
    http://www.hundredblog.com

    1. Hi Krista, I love the idea of just boxing it up immediately. Especially if you’re really struggling with will power that day it’s a great idea. Thanks babe! xx

  12. Love your tips like this!! Great post. For me- My guy and I really enjoy cooking food at home rather than eating out. We eat out only about 10% of the time so while I love this idea if I were eating out more… I don’t ever restrict myself to only part of the meal since it’s a special occasion if we’re out for dinner. And you BETCHA I’m getting the dessert. 😉

    1. Hi Alexandria, LOVE IT! I definitely don’t restrict myself when I eat at home either, mostly because I always cook appropriate portions at home. What is your favorite recipe to cook at home? Snap me @laurynevarts <3

  13. Totally agree here and kudos for your discipline! Along the lines of ending with peppermint tea, I always always brush my teeth right after dinner. That almost 100% ends any late night snacking. I usually finish dinner before 7 pm.

    Love all tips! Share more! : )

    XO,

    Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine, I am totally guilty of late night snacking. I love having a little bowl of chips or something next to me while I’m late night blogging or reading. What’s your go to late night snack? xx

  14. Love this post and absolutely agree. Thankfully, my husband is on board with this as well and we ALWAYS split our “cheat” meals (pasta, burgers, etc.) We feel more healthy and we’re not leaving the restaurant feeling like a stuffed pig. Which in turn means we can have a couple more cocktails after. 🙂 #priorities Moderation is key!

  15. I am so with you on this. I hate nothing more than huge portions at restaurants. Don’t they want to sell more dishes instead of waste food that most people just can’t finish? If I go somewhere I don’t know yet I usually ask how big the dishes are and then order a half dish. I don’t really eat many carbs but when I used to have Pizza regularly I got small pizzas ranging between a saucer size and a massive oval plate.

    I’ve made it a point to stop when I’m full and take leftovers to work for lunch.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Anna, I totally agree. I’m sure people demand larger portions though, which we totally need to change! Small portions should totally be a thing :))

  16. I try to look at the menu of a place I’m going to dine at earlier in the day and pick out my food then. I’m more apt to make smarter decisions this way rather than when I’m starving and smelling all the good food around me. I also stay away from any bread (before the meal or during) and only drink alcohol until my food arrives! (unless in Italy or France- lol)

    1. That’s a great rule (alcohol only until food comes). I want to try it, but I don’t know if I have the strength. I love a good glass of wine with my meal :)) I’ll let you know how I do! Thanks for the tip Pritha!

  17. I try to get a to-go box right away and put the other half in so I am not tempted. Ginger tea is my favorite after meals. I also try not to drink cold liquids with meals because it thwarts digestion.

  18. This is such a good idea and so simple, too!! My problem has been that I really enjoy food. Any time I think about dieting – I constantly think about the food I can’t have. I am going to have to try this!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  19. My husband eats in such great proportions because he hates feeling over full. It drags him down. He is my reminder because I get excited at new food places. I will always put my fork down when he does. It helps us have longer conversations and helps me realize when I’m full.

    1. Your husband sounds like he has the right mindset!! I love that you put the fork down when he does. Great tip. Let’s convince Michael to do that. ; )

  20. This is such a sensible idea though my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I heard that the Japanese like to only be 80% full too. If you keep the food for later, then it doesn’t go to waste, will definitely consider this

  21. Tea after a meal is the BEST! (Handmade pasta with fresh tomatoes sounds amazing too….)
    I have a big, big problem with “cleaning my plate” and also just diving into the bread basket – it’s hard for me to just STOP! I think you can either eat half every day… or eat the whole thing and then the next day only 1/4 of normal.. your way is probably better!!

    1. Tea after a meal is problem for me. It’s like addictive. I can’t stop. I have like ten drinks in front of me & I order tea. LOL. Sounds like you’re the same way!

  22. This is such a great tip! I have that habit too and when I order a large entree I actually move what portion of food I will not be eating to the side so that either 1) my husband can eat it or 2) I can immediately put it in a to go box afterward.

  23. This is LIFE with little kids 😉 I am always eating maybe half of my food, and sharing the rest with my 1 and 5 year old. They usually want to steal my rice/pasta/bread, so works out perfectly.

  24. Ah I’m so happy to have found someone who does this to! I always eat half of everything! Whenever I grab a cookie, I brake it in two. And if I have a sandwich, I tend to remove the top layer. And, indeed, in restaurants. I only half of all the things that are on my plate, so I can try all, but without over-eating! And yes, peppermint tea makes a great dessert, especially when eating out, because most of the time there’s no room left for a real dessert. Which I do regret, I have to admit that.
    With love,
    Charelle

  25. I can’t believe I’ve never tried the half portion trick before. Definitely going to start tomorrow especially with the holidays coming up. Personally, I make myself drink at least half to a full glass of water before eating a snack. If I’m still hungry after, I’ll eat but often I find I’m really just dehydrated and as a result, don’t end up needing the snack.

  26. I also only eat half or a teeny portion but that’s because I have a small stomach (I think haha) and I get full extremely fast. The downside to this is that I also get hungry really fast. What normally ends up happening is that I’ll eat a portion of my food when we’re out, wrap it up to go, and then on the way home, crack it open to nibble on it. My parents HATED it when I was young haha but they eventually got used to it.

    coffeeslag

    COFFEESLAG October Top 5’s

  27. Wow, thank you for writing this! I think it’s absolutely brilliant. For the past 2 years I’ve taught myself to ALWAYS leave at least a bite of my meal on the plate. But I’m totally ready for this challenge now! And what an excellent tip about the peppermint tea!

    p.s. lettuce-wrapped medium rare burgers with avocado are totally my jam!

    hugs, Christina

    Christina l Fashion & Frills

  28. Love the idea of eating what you’re craving but limiting it to half. I like that this is a finite portion. I usually try to eat until the point of diminishing return (when the last bite wasn’t as good or satisfying as the first) but that’s subjective.

  29. I love this tip! If I’m starving when I get to the restaurant I’ll almost immediately order hot water with lemon (good for digestion) or tea to sip on while everyone devours the bread basket. Typically, by the time I’m halfway done with my tea the bread basket is long gone. I then order an app (usually Burrata too!) and then my entree.

  30. I agree with this as long as it doesn’t mean that the other half goes to waste. So maybe people are starving in this world and just can’t understand how people can so easily throw away food (I see this happen especially if there is a buffet somewhere…)
    But as long as Michael eats it or you take it home it’s a good and smart idea 🙂

  31. Love this when paired with a healthy mindset (like you describe). As a “only eat half” devotee, it backfired years ago and suddenly the portions became smaller and smaller and smaller… definitely not the “long game”. Thanks for sharing a practical behavior coupled with a balanced and positive outlook!

  32. I do this too. I take the leftovers home. No one eats it and I get griped at for wasting and filling the fridge with food that goes to waste.

    So! I think, I’ll choose a favorite homeless person in town and every few days warmup the leftovers and make them a nice leftover dish.

    I bring it home because I truly think I’ll eat it the next day.

    But it doesn’t always happen.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Maggie

  33. I really want to follow you. Im 65 and i have let myself go.
    I did this back in 2000 and i loss 30 pounds, best I’ve everfelt.
    Please keep posting for im definitely going to follow you.
    Thank you,
    Sandra