You Are What Your Friends Eat

What is "Normal?"

What's a "normal" amount of food to eat? Do your friends lean on you to eat more if you have less on your plate than they do? Are you part of a crowd where being super thin is expected? What is food anyway?

Eating is a social phenomenon. Even when we eat alone, our minds are filled with associations related to food and people. What we think about what we eat, or should eat, is often unconsciously and deeply related to needs for love, survival, and community. We've all experienced the wave of "giving in" at a party or communal dinner. Afterwards, we wonder what happened to our so-called willpower.

It's not all bad.

We can use the social aspects of eating to nudge us toward healthier choices. The Go Primal Kickstart program is set up to use positive social accountability like logging and team spirit to help participants succeed in sticking with their goals. We're much more likely to follow through if we've gone public with our plans.

Can smaller portions and real food become the New Normal?

  • Researchers are finding that there is potential for social influence to begin shifting the trend toward obesity, just by putting out the message that "less" is actually the right amount.
  • Just choosing a different size plate makes a difference. A hotel in Norway showed that smaller plates and glasses at their buffet resulted in less food waste. You can definitely try this at home.

I've gradually moved from dinner- to luncheon- to salad-sized plates so I can visually know I have a full plate without eating too much or throwing away partially eaten food. All the great programs and information are useless unless we consciously act on what we're learning. Eating with awareness is Job 1. Eating with ease and friends is Job 2. Let's make Primal the new normal!



Verona Rylander is a psychotherapist with a degree from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. She grew up on grass fed beef and organic vegetables in Paris, TX and has a long history of curiosity about health, food, nutrition, cooking, and beyond. She's here to offer a broader perspective on Primal Living, changing habits, willpower, body image, and importance of your thoughts.



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