From skwigg's journal: (Note: I don't do this anymore. I find it unnecessary. I eat until I'm totally satisfied and then I stop, but before I had the ability to recognize satisfaction, this was extremely helpful.) I don't consider pre deciding to be training wheels. It's more like the key to lifetime food peace for me. Every day, every meal, I decide what and how much I intend to eat while serving myself and in the moments before taking the first bite. If you look at some of my food photos, I often collect the whole meal on my countertop including beverage and dessert so that I see everything together. If I don't literally do that, I'm doing it in my mind. So, for taco night, I know that I'm having two tacos, a big handful of tortilla chips with salsa and guac, about half an inch off of the top of a pint of Chocolate Peanut Butter Hagen Dazs, and one Peanut Butter Slutty Brownie. Or something like that. There's no scenario where I'm eating five tacos, the rest of the bag of chips, or all the ice cream. That's not what I want. I've already decided. There's so much freedom in that! Zero willpower, debate, or struggle. I can relax because I know I'm going to thoroughly enjoy all the tasty foods I've chosen and that I'll feel good afterward.
If I start eating with endless options and a completely open-ended stopping point, then talk about decision fatigue! I experience the discomfort of trying to decide in the moment how much to have. I don't know when to stop. I may not want the meal to end so I find myself bargaining for more or mindlessly adding foods I don't really care about or want. Afterward, it feels like, "What the hell just happened?" I don't enjoy that at all so I basically never do it. Even if I decide to eat weirdly or eat a lot, I've decided. I know what and how much I intend to have before I start.
Restaurants are somewhat different because I'm not choosing my portion and they're often huge. I'll still have a general game plan before I start eating and take one of Georgie's "half times" partway through the meal to pause and assess if I want to continue. If I do, it's at that point I'll decide what else to eat and when to stop, often with the intention of saving room for dessert. :-)