Posted in General life, Nutrition

Portion distortion

Last night we went to friends of The Boy’s for dinner. Lovely couple – they’re getting married in April so we talked wedding (the girls) and work stuff (the guys). It was casual and laid-back and the food was delicious.


The portions.

They were massive. The starter was lovely and small – bruschetta (spelling?) with pesto and tomatoes. There were 5 pieces for four of us, so there was one left over. Then dinner itself – a piece of bread, fries, salad, a massive piece of chicken breast and ladles and ladles of creamy mushroom sauce. It was delicious but hardly healthy and was too much for me to eat. I saw the portion that The Boy got and it was even bigger than mine.

Here is where The Boy and I differ.

He finished the meal and then, when they took the plates away, leaned over and remarked how full he was and how it was too much food. But he ate it because he didn’t want to offend them.

I left half of everything on my plate (except the salad) and remarked, as they were clearing the table, that it was delicious but since they had apple pie for dessert, I wanted to leave space. That way, they knew I enjoyed the meal and why I wasn’t finishing it.

There was no way I could have eaten more. We chilled out for a while and then had dessert and this time, I quickly asked for a small portion, without cream. I enjoyed it and it was enough.

I was always brought up with smaller portions and the idea that you ate what was there and if you wanted more, you could always ask for seconds. Most of the time, a normal portion was and still is enough. But I have tons of friends, like these, who have a different idea of a normal portion and whenever I eat with them, I feel stuffed to the brim.

Was I rude? Would you have finished the food you were given, even if it meant you were eating too much?



Writer, editor, wife, mother. I snatch moments to myself to read between nappy changes, work and chasing a toddler who is determined to destroy ALL THE THINGS. Welcome.

6 thoughts on “Portion distortion

  1. I would have done the same. In fact I have done the same. I felt a bit awkward, but some people serve / make a lot of food because they want people to never leave feeling hungry.

    The portion dilemma is one of the reasons we have reverted to doing family style meals when we do dinner parties (think big platter full of grilled lamb chops and self serve, with big bowls of salad and sides)…

    Don’t feel bad. Feel good that you did what was right for you, and chances are your hosts knew they were serving a lot of food.

    1. I much prefer family style meals like that – so much easier for everyone to serve themselves and you can elect to have a taste of everything if you want, without having too much.

  2. I don’t think you were rude. I would be annoyed if someone decided on my portion size! We never do that to our guests (unless it’s you know, half an acorn squash or a pre-cut piece of bread or something!).

    1. I was also a little surprised that there was no consultation – no “how much would you like?” Whenever we served up guests when we were growing up, that was the first thing we asked.

      I know I could have said something as she was dishing up but we were all chatting and I didn’t want to be rude(r), so I said nothing and I also didn’t think that she was going to give me a massive portion. But something I learnt as well.

  3. That’s why asian/chinese cuisine where you all share from a few dishes is a good thing. You take what you want 😉 You have to be quick though as dishes tend to get consumed pretty quickly hehe

  4. I don’t think you were rude at all. Leaving half and explaining that you were saving room for dessert was perfectly acceptable. Good job!

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