Addictions and Portion Control: Shifting from Dis-ease to Balance

Written by on January 28, 2009 in Health

Today, it is all about getting the most bang for the buck – especially in a recession. We want more on our plate because we fear deprivation. We see dinner specials at restaurants where the portions are sized for a family of four instead one person. Advertising sends mixed messages to the public. It tells us to eat and enjoy and to have that two-for-one special, but then on the rack at the supermarket there are headlines on covers of magazines that shows super skinny models with the ‘new’ diet of the month. In stores, we see offers such as ten for only $2.00, or “buy two get the third free”. American consumers are being fed subliminal messages from media and advertising that we have to get our dollars worth or it is not worth it. It is all about food, eating, and going out to have fun, but then there are the societal pressures to being thin. The quintessential American consumer always wants something more and always looks for a way to get something for nothing. We wonder why there is an imbalance and confusion among consumers.

Wanting more is not necessarily bad, but the addictive personality of Americans can be the problem. The catch phrase from Lay’s Potato Chips, “Bet you can’t eat just one” is one example of how advertising plays into the addictive and compulsive personalities in American public. The search for something more is a good concept because it is what drives us toward success and knowledge; we just have to learn to curb our lifestyle appetites.

As we look to Valentine’s Day and springtime, we want to wear that special outfit or bathing suit. We want our ideal weight number to magically appear on the scale, but we still want that extra dessert or that extra potato chip or handful of popcorn.

What else is going on here? Is it that we have cravings and desire more food at one sitting to fulfill our societal satiation because of the media? Is it possible we are addicted to the ‘more’ concept for fear of deprivation? Not only are our portions and appetites out of control, but also in ways where we search for special deals and discounts at the clothing store, when buying a car, at furniture stores, and even when getting our cars worked on too. Wanting more is the dis-ease effect of Americans that has created unbalanced lifestyles. Desiring ‘more’ and holding on to ‘stuff’ is the fear of deprivation.

How can we find the balance? We can begin by giving ourselves proper portion sizes on our plates. Being present and accepting what is rather than what we are missing is another important concept that we should understand.

We need to portion our lives as we portion our meals on our plates. Ask ourselves, “Do I really need it?” or “Does my body need that much?” before we go ahead with our actions. Hindsight is always perfect vision, but with those two questions we may actually perfect foresight. Practicing a balanced lifestyle is much more than a food diet and our weight, it is balancing ourselves in each aspect of our lives.

Below are some examples that can be practiced daily:

  • Be present in each moment
  • Breathe
  • Appreciate what we have
  • Practice the slow food movement
  • Take the time to chew your food
  • Smile for no reason
  • Choose natural and Certified Organic products

Carol Harblin helps people to see other ways of treatment other than the conventional western approaches. She is a holistic health practitioner and nutritionist. See Carol’s web site:

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