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I’m not what I would consider a “big” eater, but there are certain foods that call to me and make me think I’m in some sponsored, travel channel, food eating competition.  Every Sunday my wife makes spaghetti with meat sauce.  I know I’m biased, but it’s better than my moms, her moms, or most moms – – it’s freakin’ good.

The weekly meal always starts off the same.  I get a reasonable sized plate of spaghetti and sit down with the family to watch some Sunday evening television (e.g. funny videos, the amazing race, etc.).  Then in the blink of an eye, my plate of spaghetti is gone.  My wife and kids have most of their spaghetti, but I have none.  It was so good, but I don’t really remember eating it.  I think I ate it?  So what’s next? Why another trip to the stove to “double-down” on my spaghetti intake of course.  This goes against everything I’m about from a health and fitness perspective, because I know that my first plate was just about right for my daily calorie target.  I’m simply back for another round, because I can inhale this particular food so quickly that my brain doesn’t have time to notice that I’ve had enough.

Well this week, I implemented “operation chopsticks.”  The plan was simple.  I like using chopsticks and am comfortable using them when eating Chinese, Japanese food and the like, so I decided from now on I’m using chopsticks for spaghetti night.  My logic was as follows:  1) Pasta will be harder to eat with chopsticks – no twirling rule imposed of course, 2) Chopsticks are fun, and 3) It will take me longer to eat and enjoy my meal, so I won’t go back for seconds and I’ll eat less.   The kids thought it was kind of weird at first, although I could tell they were a little jealous, but the plan totally worked.  I’d estimate the chopsticks slowed my spaghetti intake pace by at least 50% and I didn’t go back for seconds (yet felt satisfied).  From now on, I will always use chopsticks for spaghetti night, and I will consider them for any dish that attemps to lure me into some “Man vs. Food” showdown.

Not rocket science nor a supreme nutrition epiphany, but a tip/strategy that may help others who tend to eat too fast, and maybe a bit too much.

Small steps add up!