YOU determine your portion size, not the restaurant

A table with four plates with three beignets on each plate. Beignets are fried dough with a lot of powdered-sugar on top.
“Beignets” by T.Tseng, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A few months ago, I wandered into a Cafe du Monde and walked up to the counter. “I’d like an order of beignets, please, but instead of three, I want one. I’ll pay for three since that’s the only way you sell them, but I only want you to give me one.”

The cashier looked at me like I was crazy and asked me to repeat myself. So I did. They rang-up my order ($2.73) and I moved down the line. I got my one beignet on a plate and the guy started to also hand me a bag. “What’s in it?,” I asked. “You’re other two beignets,” he responded. I thanked him for doing that, explained that I only wanted one, he didn’t understand, explained it again nicely, and then finally walked away with my ONE beignet.

Then I happily sat down, brushed almost all of the sugar off, and enjoyed my one beignet.  I definitely wanted more, especially watching everyone else happily eat three, but I got up and walked out before I could buy more.

This was only my second beignet since moving to New Orleans for a few good reasons:

  1. They are a calorie-bomb, each between 150-200 calories, so three is somewhere between 450-600 calories.
  2. They are a sugar and simple carbohydrate bomb, which isn’t good for people with hypoglycemia.
  3. The fat and such make them terrible for your health.

So what’s my point? I determined my portion size, I didn’t let the restaurant, or someone else, determine it for me. And I took steps to make sure I didn’t over-eat (I have no control when it comes to something hot, crunchy, and slightly sweet, like a beignet).

Here are some other examples of how I do this:

  • When my meal comes at a restaurant, I
    • Pause before eating it and figure-out how much I’m going to eat, thinking-through portion sizes. In most cases, this means cutting-off what I’m planning to eat from the rest of the food so that I know exactly when to stop. So, for example, a giant porkchop came out on my plate at a fancy restaurant. I immediately cut off about 5 ozs of it and only ate that part. The rest I relegated to another part of the plate until I could get a to-go container.
    • Ask for a to-go container right away and immediately put what I won’t eat in the container so it’s out-of-sight.
    • Ask for a second plate and put what I’ll actually eat on the second plate and only eat that.
  • If I have to purchase more than I can/will eat at, say a coffee shop or a donut shop, I often portion-out what I can eat and immediately walk to the trash and throw the rest away.
  • At other people’s houses, if they serve giant steaks, I’ll cut-off a portion of steak (a little bigger than a deck of cards) and only put that on my plate, leaving the rest for other people who may also not want a huge portion.

Do people tease me about it? Yep. However, Dave Ramsey likes to point out that, if broke people are making fun of your financial strategy, you’re probably on the right track. Usually the people who tease me the most about my eating habits are those that aren’t on the right dietary track themselves, so it’s easy to ignore them.





Up-to-date information on hypoglycemia

This blog reflects my journey of learning and understanding hypoglycemia. This means that some of my older posts may have information that is out-of-date as I’ve learned more or research has changed. For the most updated macro-level information on living with hypoglycemia, please visit Up-to-date info on hypoglycemia (start here) page.

If you’re curious if the information in a particular post is still accurate, please feel free to leave a comment on the post asking and I’ll respond letting you know if there is any updated information.

Thanks for reading!


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