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Eating Out? Please yourself, not your waitress

By Michelle May, M.D.

Restaurant2My husband and I went out to dinner Friday to celebrate our newly empty nest. We had a gift card for one of our favorite steakhouses. We were served delicious hot bread with two kinds of flavored butters, prompting our little game of “guess the ingredients.”

We had fun ordering wine from their extensive menu on an iPad. Our waitress then asked if we wanted to order appetizers and seemed a little disappointed that we said, “No thanks, this great bread will do.” I wondered if she thought we were “cheap.”

We were both in the mood for steak, their specialty. We noticed a new section on the menu – “Small Plates.” The sliced Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risotto sounded perfect for me. They also had a “Lite Filet” and their regular Filet Mignon. When we asked about the portion sizes of these items, she explained that the small plate was an appetizer portion of 4 ounces of steak; the lite filet was 6 ounces and served with a half portion of their famous potatoes; the regular filet was 8 ounces but the sides needed to be ordered separately and each served two. I ordered the small plate and my husband ordered the Lite Filet. We declined her offer to order additional sides but I felt like I needed to explain, “We are saving room to share a Molten Lava Cake for dessert.” (We call that co-ordering and co-eating!)

The meal was amazing from beginning to end (and yes, we did order the lava cake!). When I finished I felt comfortably full and completely content. I commented to the waitress that it was hard to believe that anyone could eat bread, appetizers, a full-sized steak, side dishes, and their own dessert (plus wine) and not feel miserable when they were done. She said, “I know! I don’t understand it either but people do it all the time!”

All of her prompting was just part of her training and a great way to boost the bill for a bigger tip and has nothing to do with how much I need to eat – or even how much she thought I should!

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About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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