Anna eats smaller portions thanks to this really simple idea

WHEN I saw Anna Clark’s post in our Facebook Group I just knew I had to share it. Her story is something SO many people will resonate with because I know a lot of people are in a similar situation.  

Anna’s self-worth was attached to food. In her childhood, she formed a belief that  if you had a small plate of food it would mean you were unimportant and undervalued. 

So at some point, again in her childhood, she decided she would always make sure she had a big portion of food in front of her because she was worth it. 

But of course, this is no good when you want to lose weight, and a big inner conflict developed when she started the Slimpod Programme, because she was being nudged to want smaller portions. 

Watch the video below and you’ll discover how Anna got around the problem of smaller portions, lost over 10.5kg (23lbs) and this year got into the suit she wore for her wedding 25 years ago! 



Do you have  self-limiting beliefs which are causing you an inner conflict? 

Maybe you have just started to realise this is happening since you’ve been on the Slimpod programme? 

Do they cause you to overeat or perhaps mean you don’t sleep well? So many people have limiting beliefs which prevent them from sleeping.  Crazy but true!   

But when you start unravelling these beliefs and dealing with them, it’s life-changing! 


Smaller portions: Read Anna’s story 

“I have always loved food too much to deny myself.

I have mostly controlled my weight through exercise, but it is always the first thing to go when life gets too hard, so my weight has fluctuated and overall increased.

I got even fatter, thinking Covid was temporary and that we needed food treats to get through lockdown. I was shocked to find out how big I’d become when my husband had to do a BMI test for his work and thought it would be ‘fun’ if we both did it.

The test said I was obese, so more at risk of Covid, which I found terrifying. I started a meal replacement programme and did lose weight, but knew it wasn’t sustainable.

That was when I came across Slimpod. I liked the clinical trials, 10 days free and money back guarantee, and that Sandra is properly accessible and accountable not some remote figurehead.

Although I’m reasonably active with dog walking and cycling, I’ve found it hard to up the exercise with Slimpod.

I’ve decided that’s okay because what I need to do is learn to eat differently.

Slimpod is helping me unpick my relationship with food, but it’s very complex. Food is delicious and celebratory but also a weapon of control.

When I was a child, my mum always took the smallest portion, so I mistakenly thought her portion size was a reflection of her worth rather than her nutritional needs.

It made me never want to be like that.

I wanted an equal (or even the biggest) share, or the portion of dessert with the cherry on top, or the slice of pizza with the most cheese.

But I live with two growing teenage sons and my husband, and it’s not appropriate for me to eat the same amount as them. I needed smaller portions!

My childhood has always made me want to taste everything and I was terrified of missing out. I hated being at a restaurant and seeing someone else eat a meal that was more delicious than mine.

I have spent most of my adult life not enjoying Christmas (in fact most organised celebrations) because of negative associations.

Slimpod helped me reclaim Christmas.

I’m not even sure how the pods made me realise there might be another way to think about Christmas and to have the courage to ask the group for advice.

Lynn really made it happen for me by suggesting a simple affirmation.

I have lost 10.5 kg and made my Slimpod goal, to fit into my wedding suit on my silver wedding anniversary.

Anna’s wedding day

Anna 25 years on

Through the programme I have reduced snacking. I’m very attached to my breakfast of a smoothie with kefir, fruit, seeds, oats and now spinach and broccoli.

So I have that for my lunch instead.

I feel very relaxed about food through the day, but I still have a bit of weight to lose and portion size at evening family meals is my biggest challenge.

When I spoke to Sandra about the trigger of evening meals, she suggested I needed a reminder about what is an appropriate portion size for me, maybe a post-it note (she hasn’t been to my house to know that a post-it would get lost in the chaos).

I decided to treat myself to a really special place setting with little plates. This reminds me that I am special, but special enough to have a portion size that’s right for me.

Now and again on Slimpod, someone says something that gives me a lightbulb moment.

Sandra told me she was proud to have the smallest portion in her family, and now I feel proud every time I manage to have a smaller portion.

PLEASE leave a comment below to tell Anna what you think of her success and to tell me how you’re getting on. Note that all comments are moderated before being published so may not appear straight away.

47 thoughts on “Anna eats smaller portions thanks to this really simple idea”

  1. Janice Cowburn

    Thanks for sharing your story Anna – what I found really interesting was the association of your mother taking the smaller portion, and you reading into that, that she was less worthy. When I was small, there were 7 of us in the family and most ‘treats’ in the form of cake slices or biscuit bars came in a pack of 6, so my mum used to do without, and I’m wondering now if somewhere deep in my psyche, I have a similar association – food for thought, pardon the pun!

    1. Dorothy Gormley

      I was always a skinny child and could eat what I wanted until I got married and my husband and his family had huge portions and filled my plate too. I was told all sorts of negative things about being too thin which has stayed with me all these years. I now have a smaller plate and only half of it has food on it I’m doing it my way now not what they think but it’s taken a long time to get to this stage.

  2. That is a very interesting and inspiring story. So many of our limiting beliefs and drivers for unhelpful behaviours are hidden away in our unconscious. I sometimes feel there are two versions of me in the same body. My rational mind has made these sound decisions about what is good for me to eat and drink and I am proud of myself for making good decisions about my health. But one evening I will be outside of myself watching aghast as the rebel self walks to the shop and buys a 70 cls bottle of red wine and a family bag of cheese and onion crisps. 1/2 bottle of wine and an empty bag of crisps later, I’ll have a word with myself.
    I’m on a good vibe with Slimpod. I am not feeling the urge and when I did have cocktails out with friends I enjoyed it and didn’t use it as an excuse to go and buy wine and crisps in the following days. I love the idea of a beautiful small place setting, I am going to get one.

  3. I do identify with this on some level. I grew up with a very skinny big brother (6 years older) who always got bigger portions than me, and I wanted the same as him, or else it wasn’t fair! I was a chunky child, very possibly as a result, but, looking back nearly 60 years(!), I think I had other food issues too that have continued all my life.
    I’m delighted for you, Anna, that you’ve found what works for you!

  4. What a good idea to make a fuss of the place setting for the smaller plate taking the focus off piling the plate with food. I will try that I am already using a smaller plate I just need not to pile it high with food particularly pasta.

  5. Clare Partridge

    I love that idea and also adopted a similar thing. We have wide bowls for most meals and I treated us to some lovely cutlery which makes every meal feel special. Simple things make a difference ????

  6. Thank you Anna, and other Podders.
    Good advice, I plan to use a smaller plate.
    My slim mother always had similar portions to us, but she never snacked between meals, my downfall.

  7. Mags Somerville

    That’s a great idea, going to try that! I grew up as one of six in my family too, reading your story I can relate my mum done the same or basically ate on the go! Can’t recall her sitting down to anything like the meals she dished up for us as kids, psychological roots there somewhere I think, Thanks for the tip????

  8. Food portion size is a real issue for me. I think a smaller plate size sounds a good idea to try.
    How much smaller is the plate you are using now??
    Is it a side plate size?? Or is there an in between size I don’t know about??
    Thank you for your thoughts
    Much love
    Linda ????

    1. Margaret Thompson

      Linda the plates we used up until 2 years ago were 10″ plates. We changed to 9″ plates. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. Our plates also have 1″ /1.5″ of an edge which I try not to fill.

    2. I have a large 8’ side plate and a smaller 7’ one. I also have a tiny cake plate from the 1950s. It’s 5’ across and just shows you what a portion was like in those days.

  9. Wow, that’s been a bit of a lightbulb for me! Coming from a family of 4 children it’s probably why I go for the biggest bit of everything (until recently)! Thank you for sharing! I’ve got some more exploring to do! ❤️

  10. Food as a child varied in amount and quality, dependent on finance and my mom’s health. I have lost weight with several groups but regained quickly. I even tried to convince myself that I am naturally a size 18!

  11. What an amazing story and one I can relate to . My husband is a very tall active man with a rather large appetite and it’s so true I eat what he eats . No longer, slimpod is helping me too with portion control. What a lovely idea about treating yourself to a small place setting , think I will maybe do the same. Well done on your journey and so pleased you are back into your suit you look lovely . Keep up the good work I’m really enjoying it.

  12. Thank you, this has really helped me. I moved to Canada from Ireland in 2015 and back home again in 2019. In Canada, I worked in the film industry and found a complete lifestyle change, long hours, stress, catered food and long commutes to work meaning I couldn’t cycle which I used to in Ireland. I started piling on the pound I became depressed from long hours and my body changing which caused me to eat more. I’m now getting better but when my job here in Ireland becomes stressful and long hours it triggers me to eat more. This has helped because I do exercise but the reason I’m not losing weight is my relationship with food. Hearing Anna’s story has prompted me this morning to eat well and be mindful of my portions etc. Thanks and best of luck with your journey Anna.

  13. Anna looks great!! She has made me think about why I over eat and struggle to lose weight. I realise I grew up with 4 older siblings in poor family and if I didn’t eat quickly and as much as I could or try and get to the kitchen first the food would run out and I’d be left with least amount of food or nothing at all.
    I also have self sabotaging thoughts that I don’t deserve to lose weight and if I do I’m trying to show off. Not sure where that’s come from yet but I’m trying to work it out. So thank you Anna your story has inspired me to dig deeper and find my ‘why’

  14. I am trying to make portions a little smaller. The small plates is a good idea. I think a small spoon may help. I have been reducing my snacking, if I snack I try and reduce the amount. I have a long way to go. I have visceral fat in my mid region, to the point I look pregnant and have had many people comment on ” when is it due”. I am almost 58!!

    1. Get a check up ultrasound. My daughter in law looked pregnant for six years after son was born. Turned out she had a giant ovarian cyst. Look after yourself.

  15. Well done, what an inspiring story. I did notice myself not wanting to miss out on family meals, so reaching for smaller plates/portions. We can do this.

  16. Thanks for sharing Anna, and I can relate, I’m one of 6 and my petite mum ate like a mouse and never snacked. We used to go to my Grandma’s every Sunday for lunch or tea, we did it in shifts as Grandma had 8 children, so a lot of families to feed every weekend! On one of those Sunday lunches I was tucking into my dinner and Grandad said “you always eat one tatty more than a pig” and everyone laughed.. I wasn’t sure at the time if it was an insult or compliment, Mum said just take no notice when I asked, but its stuck with me, I love potatoes and used to have a lot of guilt relating to eating more than a pig. Now I naturally rebel (my Mum told me that the only way she could get me to do anything was to say no etc) so my mind was saying don’t eat as many potatoes but my rebel self was saying ‘get them down you’ and this is one of my battles. On a positive note I have smaller portions most of the time and I’m reducing my snacking, the weight not moving yet but I will get there as I’ve made myself a promise that I will xx

  17. Hi Anna
    Your story around food & reward really resonated with me & the fabulous small plates & Queen Bee place mat are fantastic ideas. I intend trying these for myself, so thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story.

  18. I have the opposite – mum would take herself of to her bedroom most afternoons and have a lay down and eat a chocolate bar as her reward (eight kids), so I see eating food in bed as the treat.

  19. Great story and how you overcame the obstacles in your way . As a child we all had to clear are plates no food to be not eaten my dad was very strict wasn’t the nicest guy however he left when I was 7 I have never seen him since I am now 38 but what happened after he left food became a way to fight emotions I have comfort eaten for years really hoping Slimpod helps me overcome the bad friendships I have with food x

  20. Thanks Anna and Slimpod team. What an interesting and thought provoking share and comments. I am youngest of 6 kids and felt I better eat as much as I can for fear of not knowing when my next
    Meal would be and being hungry. It never came to that. In life it has manifested that I would stock up on a car journeys with sweets ad chocolate when all
    I needed was water! I use a
    Side plate much smaller than dinner plate. Just watched Sandra’s video with Dale Pinnock Medicinal Chef and will be more Mindful the plate has a balanced meal. Thanks again

  21. Gill Tunnicliffe

    I also have deep seated problems with food and portions. I think Anna has been brave to admit that she has a problem with it. I am also hoping that in time in can confront the problems that I have as I tend to shovel the food down and have huge portions. Everything has to come in twos. Two big packets of chocolate buttons, two cream cakes, you get the picture! I now have severe sleep apnea which scares me. I hope Anna continues to progress. I will take hope from your story Anna, Thank you.

  22. This is an amazing story and you must be so pleased with your progress, Anna!
    I too struggle with portion sizes. My fiance and I are both huge food lovers which means we just keep going to the point of not moving when we go out to eat! Also started happening at home too for dinner… I am learning my full signal though and I will get there, I know I will :).

  23. This is a really interesting story. I think I overeat because I was not the favourite child. A big appetite was something I got praise for which was the only time I got recognition. I have only realised how different my treatment was since having my own children.

  24. Thanks for sharing your story Anna. It is really helpful to think about our upbringing and how this affects our eating habits. I have really got into using small pretty plates for my meals and enjoy prepping my food lately. I am 4 weeks into Slimpod and have a lot more awareness about my emotional eating. The day I found out about Slimpod I cried to my partner about how I needed help with eating and didn’t know what to do as I was exercising but not getting anywhere with overeating when stressed. But I can definitely see positive changes already and appreciate this programme and community very much. Good luck to everyone.

  25. We’ll done Anna 👍🏻❤️ I read your story and it reminded me of my childhood eating habits although different from yours mine was the sweet stuff which we were never really allowed to have, well it’s a bit more complex than that actually, we (my brother and I) got sweet stuff but not the “good” sweet stuff i.e. we got say custard cream biscuits or the cheapest ones my mum could find but every day in the fridge there would be a fresh cream cake and chocolate, even chocolate biscuits but we couldn’t have those “they’re your dads” and on top of that we’d get the cheapest, nastiest food but mum and dad got the better stuff, although “better” wasn’t great as my mum was THE worst cook ever lol. Since I’ve been on Slimpod I’m learning more about my relationship with sweet stuff as I, like Anna want the biggest, juiciest piece of cake there is and top grade chocolate or peanut biscuits (nuts we’re another luxury but they were mums) and I don’t like to deprive myself from having ice cream or cake or anything scrumptious 😋. I hate food and eat very small portions but I can go all day long without food or even thinking about it and because I’m poorly and in pain most day I don’t exercise so I’ve gone rather big, I used to be 11stone ish, when I was working (a very busy legal secretary) but under or a bit over and I thought I was fat until now when I’m 14stone and some pounds too but I’m still fat as I don’t eat enough, few veggies, no salads and very bland food as I’ve no taste, been like that since pre-covid but it’s way worse now so I have to try very hard to eat/walk (I’ve had a new partial knee in Jan 21 but there’s something wrong with it but the waiting times are horrendous as I’m sure everyone knows). Anyway I’m still new to slimpods and on the first or second stage (I also have the WORST brain fog 😶‍🌫️ or fibrofog as they call it, having rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia too) so I forget a lot of things, but I listen to my slimpod for weight loss every night and I’m looking forward to listening to the sugar slimpods as that’s my downfall. So thank you Anna for sharing and helping me think about my childhood food issues too and I hope one day soon to be up there with you with your extraordinary weight loss, you’re a superstar 🤩⭐️✨🌟💗

  26. Gwyndolyn McClellan

    Thanks for sharing….I always get HOPE just reading about other people and their success stories.

  27. Thanks Anna for sharing your story. I can relate to it for a very different reason. I grew up with an older sister who suffered very badly with anorexia. This put a lot of stress on everyone, especially my mother. Trying to be the ‘good’ daughter I went the other way and ate everything, usually in large portions, putting on more and more weight. Fortunately after 40+ years my sister has now mainly maintained a healthy weight but I am still far too large. I will certainly try using a smaller plate. Thanks for your story.

  28. This is so me! Day 18 and still not got my portion size right! I’m gonna get a smaller plate and I think Anna has hit the nail on head making herself realise she is worthy x

  29. I love the ‘dainty place setting’ idea. I might edit it for myself by setting all the meat and vegetables out on dishes on the table so we can help ourselves. Rather than serve it already on plates . Hmm. Thanks!

  30. I am going to the shops to get a nice decorative small plate. I am going to make this a symbol of my new eating habits which I am still fighting with my bad habits at the moment. I think this will help, thank you for sharing your story. You look good in the suit all them years ago and now, so great. Portion control is a massive issue for me so the small plate should definately help.

  31. I have always had a problem with portion control so this has given me the incentive to get it under control. I have started to lose the weight using Slimpod and have a lot to go this advice is going to help me

  32. Anna you are such an inspiration, and thank you for sharing your story. I have had problems with portion size for most of my married life. As a child, we didn’t have a lot but my mum and dad saw to it that none of us went hungry, even if it was just a slice of toast and jam. My mum was never a big eater but she always seemed “cuddly”. She was only 4ft 10 in. I’m 4ft 11 so I suppose I always put my excess weight down to taking after my mum. Having read Anna’s story, I have just realised why I eat large portions. I think it’s because for many years I have had to go without a lot in my marriage. My husband isn’t one to spend money if he can help it. Except food, which he enjoys! He is more or less the same slim size he was when I met him 50years ago. My habit is emotional and I believe now, deprivational. Thank you Anna. I have never stopped to think “why” until I read this. What a wonderful wake up call for mr. Thank you and good luck

  33. I also am struggling with portion size’s although I am only 3 weeks into the program. I am taking on board the idea of a special place setting at the meal table. I am going to treat myself to a beautiful smaller plate. Thank you to Anna.

  34. I hear what you are saying Anna. Many eating problems start in childhood. As a child I always had to eat everything on my plate and not waste food. My parents lived through the depression so I understand why they made that rule. Unfortunately it was one reason why I continued to over eat through my adult years. My mother admitted that when she was stressed she sat down with a cuppa and had a biscuit or 2 to relax. I used this excuse for myself so when stressed, out came the biscuits or cake or chocolates far more than what my mother had but I managed to justify it. I am so grateful I stumbled across slimpod so now I am retraining myself and feel positive about a healthier AND SLIMMER future.

  35. My issue is the opposite of yours in a way, but it’s made me think that maybe I can find a way out of my mind set. As I child I always left food on my plate but I was made to feel guilty about leaving anything on my plate. I’m sure some of you have heard the criticism- it’s a waste of food or there are people in the world starving and would give anything to eat that. Well somewhere over the years I lost the ability to leave food on my plate – I would feel guilty if I did and so I’d clear my plate so I didn’t throw anything away. So now I need to find a way forward- I even do it with a drink I have to drink the last drop in the cup. I hope that the program will help with that and my nighttime snacking when I can’t sleep.

  36. Hi Anna
    I have recently joined the slimpod family and I am becoming a lot more active and doing housework much more productivity and it’s helping me with my depressed state of mind greatly, I have definitely stopped stuffing myself with food in the day, however I don’t feel slimmer and I do still overeat in the evenings.
    After reading your story I was thinking that hopefully this will also become less of a challenge for me and I do use a smaller plate now .
    Thanks for sharing

  37. Thank you Anna. Firstly, just wow! This has triggered some memories for me (not identical but similar) so will definitely be posting about that on the group x

  38. Truly amazing progress! I am very impressed at what she has achieved and take inspiration from it.
    My progress: I too believe that I have issues of self-worth and I’m hopeful that the consistency of the programme will help with this. I’ve already been more consistent with this programme than I have with any other method of weight control. I am the person who always sees a fat person in the mirror looking back at him- even when I was 18 years old and in fantastic shape. Doing martial arts over 30 years gave me the excuse to eat and drink whatever I liked, as I just burned it off. The training sessions were hard though- perhaps they would have been easier if I wasn’t abusing my body?
    I know that I comfort-eat and despite the programme helping me to reduce snacking and feeling fuller, I still feel the magnetic draw to the kitchen cupboard or fridge. I tend not to buy things that I know I would demolish when I have cravings. I tend to feel these cravings on an evening when I’ve got nothing to do/no purpose, so I have taken up hobbies to try and distract myself. I also try to get out of the house for the same reason, although recently diagnosed with hip dysplasia, my favourite activities of racquet sports and long distance walks are now things of the past.
    There is so much more that I can talk about Sandra, but I’m sure you don’t want an essay!

  39. Anna’s story is inspirational and gives us much to think about. I too have had portion sizes that were large and that came about from mum trying to make me big and strong. Now I eat smaller portions but need to reduce them further I think. I already use a smaller plate but always clear my plate in accordance with parental instruction as a child, so I need to lose that mind set now. Thanks Anna for your thoughts.

  40. For me it’s about not leaving food. My Mum and Dad had me late in life, my Dad had been a WWII prisoner of war and so never leave food was a huge thing. Until I started being more aware of feeling full and eating more than I needed I hadn’t made this link. So now I’m making smaller portions or freezing extra meals

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
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