Over the course of my life, I've noticed that very large portions of food can have a negative effect on appetite even before the first bite. My elderly parents, for instance, each had an instant visual threshold for serving sizes being "over the line", and my subjective impression was that they would actually eat *less* than they would have if served smaller portions. Wahine, who ran a nursing home for years, can go on for hours about dealing with her patients' thresholds so as to make sure the folks got the right numbers of calories and enjoyed meals.
I never really understood this phenomenon--until recently. Wahine and I commonly split breakfast plates, and when we're too hungry to be pleased and satiated by one normal-sized plate, but not hungry enough to each get a full order, we'll order and split one "biggest" order. Last Sunday this happened, and we ended up ordering the "Big Wes" breakfast: chicken fried steak, biscuit and gravy, 3 eggs, 3 strips bacon, hash browns and a sausage patty. The smothered CFS and biscuit alone filled one large plate!
When I saw the server hoisting the plates, I instantly knew...
Has anyone else experienced this with loved ones or themselves? I know there's that old saw about eating being a young man's game, but mine was an immediate, strong, visceral reaction that ultimately decreased my enjoyment of otherwise good food.
Bonus points for anyone who can find a medical or psychological term for the phenomenon.
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