Star: Nicole Kidman asks waiters to only bring her half of the meals she orders

90th Academy Awards (Oscars)

I imagine that Nicole Kidman probably seems even more slender if you see her in person. She’s supposed to be quite tall, quite leggy and even in photos, she just seems like a wisp of a lady. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she was one of those “I’ve been on a diet since I was 16” people. But just how extreme is her diet? I don’t know. When you think of it, she never really did bandwagon on any popular Hollywood diet, at least publicly. Maybe that’s because this whole time, she was just eating very, very small portions, at least according to Star:

Nicole Kidman insists on being served only 50% of her food when she’s out to dinner.

“No matter what she orders, she asks the waiter to bring only her half of it,” tattles a tipster. “It could be a cup of soup – she’ll still ask to have it cut down. She thinks restaurant portions are way too big, so this helps her avoid overeating.”

But don’t expect Nicole to ask for a doggie bag for the rest!

“People have asked why she doesn’t just get the whole meal and leave half of it, but she insists that would be wasteful.”

[From Star Magazine, print edition]

You know what’s also wasteful? Paying full-price for a meal and only asking for them to send out half of it. That’s a waste of money. I’m sure that’s my peasant middle-classness speaking, but when I do go out to eat, I either finish my meal or take home what I can’t finish. Why not do that? I understand if Nicole thinks portions are too big – I disagree, more on that in a moment – but surely the answer is just… paying for and receiving your whole meal and then taking half home for later? Leftovers are good. And you’re paying for them anyway!

As for this whole “portions are too big these days” argument – it depends where you’re eating. If you’re going to some middle-America chain restaurant, for sure, I could see why you might think the portions are too big. But Nicole spends a lot of time in, like, LA and London. Do you really think those restaurants are bringing out a giant plate of hot wings and a vat of mashed potatoes? (I just gave away the name of dream restaurant, one which I’ll open someday: A Vat of Mashed Potatoes. Stop by any time!)

2017 American Music (AMA) Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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148 Responses to “Star: Nicole Kidman asks waiters to only bring her half of the meals she orders”

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  1. Mrs. Wellen-Melon says:

    Now if only she would use half the injectables on her face.

    • Snowflake says:

      Hahaha, good one

    • minx says:

      Yes. Good for her for being careful about what she eats. She should dial back on the injectables and do something about her hair. Her hair in the picture with the black dress is horrible. Is it a wig or her own? Either way it looks bargain basement.

      • Ann says:

        Not sure how small portions = being careful. By that argument, people who eat full portions are being careless. Please, let’s stop with this myth that dieting (and thus losing weight) is automatically positive. There more to it than that, and the language we use when discussing things like weight and eating matters.

      • Misa says:

        ^^^ Everything Ann has said.

    • HadleyB says:

      Yes, we know. Dead horse. Keep beating it.

  2. Deedee says:

    When does A Vat of Mashed Potatoes have its soft opening? Put in my reservation now.

    • Kaiser says:

      For now A Vat of Mashed Potatoes does not accept reservations, walk-ins only.

      • Cran says:

        Will there a selection of gravies? Gravy boats? Though a vat might require an armada of gravy.

      • Kaiser says:

        Yes, there will be an excellent assortment of gravies. We might also include a baked potato buffet/bar and of course free french fries.

      • Nic919 says:

        More importantly will A Vat of Mashed Potatoes keep the deplorables out?

      • koko says:

        No gravy, melted cheddar for me. Please.

      • Cran says:

        OMG A SELECTION OF GRAVIES!!!!! Potatoes are my favorite vegetable. My best breakfast is a potato omelet with hash browns and home fries and potato bread toast. With a side of fries with brown gravy, Dijon mustard and malt vinegar sides in which to dip.

        Obviously I’m not a slender person such as Ms. Kidman. Lol. I volunteer to eat the half of the meals she orders. Zero waste.

    • VSK says:

      I am coming!!! Mashed Potatoes all the way!!!

    • minx says:

      I. Am. There.

    • em says:

      I watched the old Tchaikovsky movie with Richard Chamberlin a few weeks ago and he ordered ‘boiled potatoes and vinegar’ in a swanky restaurant. I decided to try it to see what it was like , small new potatoes and malt vinegar and a few dabs of butter and it tasted really good . Add that to the menu for variety K, potatoes rule.

  3. Lara K says:

    Good for her. If it works, then why not.

    People spend so much money on trainers and dieticians and nutritionists, etc. So why not spend money on a full meal and only eat half?

    she never struck me as unhealthy, so I’m cool with this.

    • Muffy says:

      My doctor told me he does this. I kind of laughed when he suggested it as a weight loss strategy. I don’t go out to eat often, so I’m either eating the whole meal or taking it home.

      I do make sure that my side dishes are healthy, and eat those first.

    • Kelly says:

      I do this and I lost over 36 pounds. However, I do take the leftovers with me for a second meal the next day.

    • MrsK says:

      I agree. Most restaurants I go to serve much more than I can (or should) eat at one sitting; I regularly take home a doggie bag and get at least another lunch out of it.

      Making a mantra out of eating only half the serving at a time is a part of my arsenal of staying aware of the quantity and nutritional content of what I eat.

    • Katie says:

      Agree 100%. For the he most part, I only eat at the types of places she would eat at (except ranging $$-$$$ instead of $$$$) – chef driven, small plate, healthy San Francisco places. Portions are still too big. And the food is still filled with extra calories – probably double what you make at home. When watching my weight carefully I absolutely notice this. So yeah, even if you order the healthiest thing on the menu, portion control is the only way to ensure eating out doesn’t pack on the pounds. If you only eat out once a week, great for you… Eat whatever you want. Otherwise be careful. Unless of course you’re an athlete and you need 2400+ calories to maintain your weight.

      • Eleonor says:

        In the US, in San Francisco (!) me and Boyfriend used to order only one plate for the both of us, because it was too much for us.

    • woohoo says:

      That is a brilliant strategy for calorie control. And it appears to work!

    • Lady Medusa says:

      I think it’s a great idea. My grandmother always followed the “eat only half of what you’re served” rule, even for meals at home (she would cut her hamburgers in half), and my mom usually did the same and encouraged me to do it also. I don’t do it so much at home, but I hardly ever eat more than 1/2 of my meals at restaurants. I have issues with gaining weight easily, so that helps me maintain. Another thing that helps is setting my silverware down between every 1-2 bites. It gives my brain a chance to keep up with my stomach so I can tell when I’m truly satiated and don’t accidentally overeat.

  4. Slowsnow says:

    The thing that really annoys me is in films when they order and don’t eat/drink.
    My inner glutton cannot focus on the plot from thereon.

    However, it is true that portions are usually a tad too much, especially when it comes to meat and more specifically in certain areas of the States and Europe.

    We eat way more than we need anyway.

    • Aaliyah says:

      Being a film actress is HARD and in many ways a thankless profession. You’re on a constant diet, fighting aging, clinging to relevancy, dealing with the public nitpicking you and the Harvey Weinsteins of the world all on the slim chance that you might get to pursue your passion. Thank God I am on the other side of the camera. As a woman filmmaker I try to make my sets as safe and comfortable as possible for the actresses because I know how incredibly hostile and creepy most sets are for them. It is ROUGH and yes you’re lucky if you reach the financial stability and critical acclaim of Ms. Kidman but only about 0.01% of them do.

      • Bridget says:

        I always think about Julianne Moore, who is incredibly acclaimed and held in such high esteem professionally, who has said that she’s basically on a diet ALL THE TIME and is just always hungry, but needs to stay thin.

      • magnoliarose says:

        It is a very hard life and I don’t envy any of it. Fashion was hard enough and m few forays into that arena were not only cliche but miserable.

        I applaud you for being aware and trying to make your work environments pleasant. I wish more were like you. 🙂 You deserve a long successful career.

        A model I knew said every day she ate 3 TBSPs of something she loved and the rest of the day very very low calorie. She was fighting her natural weight which was 30-40 lbs above modeling weight. For a minute she was hot and working all the time. However, eventually, she couldn’t eat like that anymore and just quit. It was either develop a drug problem or starve to maintain and she decided it wasn’t worth it. She was smoking 2 packs a day and getting ill all the time.
        For actresses with Julianne M’s level of fame, any weight gain would have killed her career. Not only does she have to worry about her looks onscreen but then if she is papped looking heavy they would be cruel to her.

      • Potemkin says:

        Well said, Aaliyah. And I may add to the list the fact that if you are a famous actress you are perceived as a spoiled brat if you complain about anything on earth.

    • eto says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!! My worst pet peeve is in tv shows, they always have an elaborate breakfast spread that the mom slaved over but the kids and husband are too busy to eat before running out the door – my inner glutton is always down for breakfast and it breaks my heart!

    • Lucy says:

      Yes! I thought I was the only one. Or in movies if they have an argument over the dinner table and someone storms off and leaves their dinner untouched. They should take it with them!

    • Alyssa Calloway says:

      It’s also considered unattractive to eat on camera. The chewing and swallowing isn’t pretty, especially if you’re trying to speak around what you’re eating.

      It’s also nearly impossible to keep food at the “right” temperature on set, because it’s essentially a prop. So actors avoid actually eating sometimes bc it isn’t appetizing at all, but if they have to most will buckle down and take it for what it is – an unpleasant part of acting.

      And if they are actually eating and it’s a considerable amount of food, they’ll spit it out after a take so they don’t stuff themselves (imagine being the lucky person to hold that bucket).

      Yet another reason is if they eat, it can mess with continuity. It should look the same or appropriate for whatever point in the scene they’re in. Just easier to push it around the plate. BUT some shows and films do it and do it well.

      • Naddie says:

        Your answer reminded me of Melanie Laurent, in Inglorious Bastards. I know she was supposed to seem uncomfortable because of the character’s situation, but seeing her eating like a normal person kinda put her character’s ureachable halo out.

      • outoftheshadows says:

        I have heard stories in which actors got very, very ill after having to eat spoiled food on set over many hours. There’s a practical reason they don’t.

  5. Patricia says:

    My grandmother always did this! Well, she would split her own meal in half as soon as it was put in front of her and immediately have the other half boxed up to be taken home. When her Alzheimer’s got bad she started doing it even when she was at our house for dinner hahaha. She did lose a lot of weight (which was a good thing for her health because she had been obese). She said a Dr told her to only eat half of what a restaurant brings her, and she ended up applying that to every meal as the years went on and it became second nature to her.

    I agree with Nicole that portions be cray cray. And I just don’t see her reheating some restaurant food in the microwave like common folk. For myself I loooove a good leftovers lunch.

    • Christina says:

      Agreed. She is in hotels and unfamiliar residences all of the time, so taking food back from restaurants isn’t convenient. She might like to cook at home or not, but it doesn’t matter because the hotels don’t make it convenient to store and eat leftovers. Upscale L.A. hotels don’t leave room for many leftovers in the fridge, and the business model assumes that you will go out or order room service in. Rooms are well-stocked with booze that I doubt she’d touch. When I’ve had the rare chance to stay in one I’d get to keep my leftovers because we’d be driving home within 24-48 hours, but I’d have to fit the box in the fridge. If you move a bottle, the hotel charges you for the booze you moved. I imagine they will take it off of the bill if you let them know.

      • Katie says:

        Agreed on the inconvenience of leftovers when travelling. I also wanted to add on that restaurant food is generally unhealthy. So why eat it at home? Even when you order a kale salador salmon in quinoa, it’s still double the calories of a homemade meal. If you’re watching your weight, enjoy the time out at the restaurant, but don’t double it up at home. Ok, it wouldn’t be wasteful if she took half and gave it yo a homeless person, but I don’t think she walks very far down any sidewalks in her life.

  6. Corrine says:

    She looks like Avril Lavigne’s older sister in that last picture. That picture also makes me think: I don’t think I would be able to recognize her if I passed her on the street.

  7. Lightpurple says:

    Nutritionists advise doing just this. Only eat half of what is served in a restaurant. Even in places where the portions aren’t large, the food tends to be richer and more heavily seasoned with salt than what you would eat at home.

    • shirurusu says:

      Exactly! I used to work in a kitchen, I gained weight just from the food we were having for lunch even though I was on my feet all day and working my *ss off, and that was at a “healthy” mostly vegetarian place. Most chefs will do anything for flavour lol including breaking the bank on calorie content, obviously because if it doesn’t taste good enough no one will eat there and they won’t make any money. Halving restaurant portions sounds about right 🙂

    • Lady D says:

      I was reading about China’s reaction to Trump’s tariffs and how it impacts China’s meat imports from the States. They can’t get enough from other countries to keep their citizens fed, so the Chinese govt. is now running a “Go vegetarian” campaign. They aim to drop meat consumption in their country to 50% by 2030.

  8. Beth says:

    That’s wasteful unless you’re so rich. Give me all the food I’m paying too much for

    • Lex says:

      Its less wasteful to not be habitually taking plastic containers home

      • OriginalMe says:

        Restaurant servings are large in the US, no argument there. But they’ve also gotten bigger over the years in many parts of Europe (I lived in Germany, Switzerland, France for 12 years). So this isn’t just an American problem. Having said that, in most restaurants, I can only eat half of what’s on my plate and have to take the other half home. But I also make sure to take my own containers with me. Even whilst traveling. Yes, it’s not a sexy look especially in the kinds of restaurants I like to eat … but the price of looking like a bag lady to protect the planet is, well, nothing. I’d rather mother earth be sexy! 😉

    • Maria says:

      If you send half the order back they have to throw it out. Wasteful imo.

      • Scal says:

        I think she’s telling them to only make her a half portion of the entree. Not sending back half of it uneaten. I’d imagine she’s not paying full price either.

  9. Justwastingtime says:

    Doesn’t seem so strange to me as it was the diet of a slew of upper middle class upper east side (nyc) women when I was growing up. Order food and eat 1/2 the meal.

  10. Bridget says:

    So the story is that she politely requests something reasonable at a restaurant?

    • Tiffany says:

      SCANDAL !!!! 🙂

    • lucy2 says:

      Right? And doesn’t want to waste extra food. Monster!

    • Louise177 says:

      Celebrities do a lot of things that deserves to be hated on but asking for smaller portions isn’t one. There are a lot of places that serve large portions. I don’t like most leftovers. So I ended up eating more than I should because I feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth. Asking for something smaller instead of throwing it away seems like a good idea.

    • Veronica says:

      We like to pretend that bodies like hers are easily attainable without significant discipline and/or surgery because then we can badger women into low self-esteem and push them into purchasing weight loss goods. She eats in regimented portions because her very well-paid job requires her to be ultra-thin, simple as that.

  11. Ellie says:

    Tbh I would probably do this if it did not look obnoxious in front of the people you’re eatIng with. Because restaurant food is delicious and I have issues with self control. I WOULD probably ask them to box it up for me, but I bet Nicole eats a lot of salads, and like grilled fish and stuff that doesn’t save well. Hopefully her goal is the kitchen just doesn’t prepare the other half in the first place, so it isn’t wasting food, it’s just wasting her money, which is no issue for her.

  12. Eliza says:

    I see it as less wasteful. I don’t see her eating leftovers so why plate a whole meal and have 1/2 go to waste. If the staff in the kitchen plate half they can give the rest to another customer. Sure, she’s paying the same for less, but if she was only eating half already, what’s the difference?

  13. girl_ninja says:

    I’ve started ordering children’s meals when I eat a chain restaurant. It has perfect potions and I am absolutely filled. Do what works for you Nic!

  14. La says:

    This is common weight loss advice. No matter what you order most restaurant food has way more salt, butter, or oil than anything you’d make at home. I’m trying to lose weight and at restaurants I try to only eat half or order something very lean. I’m not wealthy though so I make damn sure to take my leftovers to get another meal from it! As long as she’s polite about it there’s no issue.

  15. Zip says:

    While portion sizes may not be too big it is certainly true that they contain more calories than a home-cooked meal simply because the amount of fat being used for cooking in restaurants is often much higher. Also, when you eat at restaurants a lot there is no control over how many calories you consume which makes dieting impossible (unless it’s your only meal that day).

  16. Lex says:

    Meals all across USA are enormous – youre just used to it. This isnt restricted to chains. Everywhere!

    When travelling, 4 of us would order 1 main and maybe a side or appetizer and share and be stuffed. Main meals where I live are too big too, but are easily half or 1/4 the size of mains in USA.

    • Bridget says:

      Um, where are you eating that one meal is enough for 4 people to be stuffed? Even at obnoxious chain restaurants that’s way outside the norm.

      • Alisha says:

        @bridget That will depend on your appetite of course, but for a person with a small appetite or who tends to eat smaller portions throughout the day instead of larger meals, a lot of restaurant portions can be stretched easily into 2-4 meals.

        For example if I go to Olive Garden (or any Italian restaurant really), the pasta sizes are usually pretty large and I typically have enough leftovers that I can split into portions to cover lunch and dinner the next day. I can do the same with most Chinese or any steakhouse restaurants.

        A few years ago I started really paying attention to portion sizes and tracking how much I ate. I bought a kitchen scale and a serving scoop. I was amazed at how far off my estimates were! A 1 oz portion of rice is a small scoop (so if you figure how many scoops fill one of those boxes at a typical restaurant, it is really a lot and could cover a few meals right there), a single chicken breast from the store is often 8-9 ounces, so I will cut it in half and that covers two meals, you get the idea.

        And if you are into watching calories, restaurant servings, while they may not seem physically large, can be really high. Even the “light” menu items can top out at 700-800 calories, a regular meal can be 1500-2000+. So those larger meals I cut into at least thirds. Eating all that at once would not make me feel well.

      • Bridget says:

        2? Oh yes. Totally agree there. But for 4 people to be “stuffed”? Even at The Olive Garden that’s a stretch.

      • Alisha says:

        @bridget Perhaps they are referring to a pizza? Even those smaller “personal” pizzas would actually last me four meals. But generally speaking, I can usually get three meals out most restaurant meals. But I am accustomed now to small portions.

      • Veronica says:

        CHEESECAKE FACTORY. Their portions are outrageous. I once ordered a salmon dinner there with snowpeas on the side, and I was horrified to look up the calories and see the plate topped out around 1300-1500 calories if I’d included the rice. Like, what the hell did they put in there for it to be that high?? It’s salmon!

      • Amelie says:

        I was about to chime in with the Cheesecake Factory! When I do go there I hardly get cheesecake because the main entree stuffs me up and I NEVER finish it. You could easily stretch a leftover Cheesecake Factory meal into at least 2-3 meals. IT IS SO MUCH FOOD.

      • KB says:

        I don’t know about being stuffed, but depending on what they’re ordering, one meal and appetizer could easily be 2,500 calories. That’s 625 calories a person and more than enough.

        Now if they’re sharing a small piece of grilled chicken and steamed veggies or something, then no. But if they’re ordering something extravagant and indulgent, I could see it.

        Add wine or drinks to that, their individual calorie intake is even higher.

      • Snowflake says:

        Cheesecake factory, Yes! I went there with my husband for my bday in January. I ordered the seared ahi tuna,thinking it wouldn’t be that bad on calories. I didn’t want to order off the low calorie, I still wanted to enjoy it but still be moderate. Guess how many calories? 1750!!!!! Never order that again

    • A says:

      I’m from europe and I totally agree. Insane portions across america!

    • TrixC says:

      Me three! Actually it drove me crazy because when I visited America I was a student and had no money, and restaurants kept bringing me these enormous portions I had no hope of eating but had to pay for anyway.

  17. Ruby says:

    So, she asks the restaurant to make her a half portion and pays the full price? Yeah. This is a problem….

  18. Amelie says:

    I don’t know about you but where I live in NYC they ALWAYS give you too much food. It’s absurd how much food they put on your plate (also how much butter/salt/pepper/oil and other things that always make my stomach ache). I’ve been noticing most of the time I go out to eat, I get super gassy/get nauseous/get a stomachache after I eat out. They put so much crap on your food for flavor you don’t need and my stomach hates it. Obviously I try to stick to orders I know I can finish and that are healthier but depending on the restaurant that’s not always possible.

    In fact one of the things my French relatives always complained about when they visited the USA was just how big the portions are in restaurants here. And it’s true, whenever I’m in France, I typically finish everything on my plate if I eat out. They usually give you just enough to fill you up. So I don’t see any issues with what Nicole is doing. The USA has the mentality “bigger is better” and that also applies to food portions/beverage sizing. Which explains partly why our country has such a rampant obesity problem when you think about it.

  19. Cate says:

    Seems reasonable to me. Even at upscale restaurants the portions can be quite caloric if you order anything that isn’t explicitly diet food. If I go out to eat, I want something I cannot easily make at home, which means I’m not going to be ordering the plain chicken and veggies. So I usually do something like eat half or ask for the carbs to be replaced with more veg (if the carb is something boring like mashed potato, sorry but they are not my thing!)

  20. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. American restaurant portions ARE huge. Couple that with the fact that most restaurant meals have higher calorie counts than home cooked meals then it’s a good idea. I know people who simply refuse to eat leftovers – they don’t like reheated food. So they typically order less or eat it all in one sitting. Nicole is rich if she wants to pay full price for a half a meal that’s her business. I would take far more issue with her wasting actual food.

    • liriel says:

      Exactly. So many people here are angry she’s wasting food but she isn’t really. Even if she was wasting it it still isn’t a crime for me. She can pay full price like you said and I get why she wants and has to eat healthily and don’t put on weight. It’s part of her job. It’d be difficult for her to say “give the half to homeless”. What can the waiters do?

  21. KBeth says:

    This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

  22. Betty Whoo says:

    Why not give iT to a beggar outside? Why not take the doggybag and give iT to someone o need on her way home?
    This maken me sad and angry.
    The waste, and hungry people

    • Ruby says:

      They MAKE her a half portion. Where is the waste?

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I dont quite get why you’re sad and angry. She isnt throwing food away. They are literally making her a half portion of the meal. I could see being angry if she was throwing food away but that’s clearly not the case. To me this is far more reasonable than people who take leftovers home and wind up never eating them and then throwing them in the trash. THAT’S wasteful.

      • Castle Toz says:

        Even if they make the full portions because of kitchen logistics and work flow, split it in half in the kitchen and send it out to her, that untouched by customer food is not going to waste. I guarantee that there’s a sous chef, buser, dishwasher or waitstaff person that is happily calling dibs on it. Some absolute scavengers will even eat food off of plates that has been served to a customer. Disgusting, but it happens.

  23. Trashcat says:

    This seems perfectly reasonable to me, and I much prefer this approach to those who go to a restaurant noted for its cuisine and proceed to request modifications to their meals, or ask for something “plain” that’s not even on the menu. THAT is a pain for the kitchen and is insulting to the chef; making the portion smaller is not. As long as she is willing to pay for a full portion and isn’t requesting any other accommodations than to have less food on her plate, what’s the harm? It’s a win for the restaurant, which saves on food costs, and she isn’t tempted to eat more than she needs or wants, and isn’t throwing perfectly good food away, which happens way, way more often than it should. Frankly, I’m happy to read about a celeb who enjoys eating food the way the chef intends it to be prepared, and I applaud her aversion to waste. NK for the win!

  24. magnoliarose says:

    It is a very small amount of food considering the restaurants she frequents but then maybe she orders courses and likes matching her wine accordingly.
    Actresses have a very hard time keeping their figures. I think harder than models because their careers can last longer, past when metabolisms slow and they are seen on screen from a lot of different angles in motion. In light of that, I guess this is her way of eating what she wants and being able to remain slender. Nicole has always been around the same size so I think she is naturally long and lean but she is older now so she might have to make more of an effort with calories.
    My mother was built like Twiggy until menopause. She is still slender but she doesn’t eat everything she wants anymore without a thought. For years around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, she would have something from a bakery. This was so much part of her day that those who knew her would bring a delicious treat if they were visiting her in the afternoons. She still loves her sweets but just not every day.
    Nicole could be the same. I forget her age sometimes because we never see her children. In fact, I forget she even has any.

    • Bridget says:

      Nicole is over 40 and at an age where it’s harder to maintain a low weight (like she would need for her job), plus I wonder if it’s difficult for her to exercise when she’s talked about how she utterly shredded up her knee when she did Moulin Rouge.

      • magnoliarose says:

        That could be. I have never thought of her as a fitness buff but if her knee is wrecked she probably does have to compensate.

      • Bridget says:

        She’s not, but she used to run. But that was the knee injury that forced her out of the movie Panic Room.

      • Gia says:

        Also, being in an industry where I have to be thin, it’s incredibly difficult to keep a lower calorie diet and be thin and then find the energy to exercise. Maybe uppers/stimulants would help but I’ve never tried. Sometimes I’m not hungry and mentally I’m ready to go but just have no energy/stamina/strength at the gym.

      • Snowflake says:

        @Gia. I hope you get into a different industry. You should not be weak from eating a low calorie diet. That’s too low calorie. Worried for you.

    • liriel says:

      This! She’s not asking for out sympathy, “poor me, I can only eat half” so I don’t see why anyone has a problem with this. It’s a job she chose and its demands. Fasctinating story about your grondmother. Frankly I’m getting scared. As someone tall and slender I kind of hope it lasts forever. I love summer and seasonal fruits and can eat as much as I want to. Oh well!

  25. Peggy says:

    I do this.

    I eat out a lot, and restaurant portions are very big. It’s not just about the volume, it’s about how many calories are in a portion. I mostly eat out at upscale restaurants (business lunches/dinners), and something that looks like a normal to small portion can easily have 1000+ calories. Even things like simple soups will often have half a stick of butter in them.

    I’m not going to eat more than I should and make myself overweight just so I don’t ‘waste’ money. Talk about diminishing returns.

    • Gia says:

      My hub and I used to be huge foodies and eating out at fancy and higher end places a lot but have recently cut back. We’re both in shape with myself on the thin side, I don’t understand why she just wouldn’t order an appetizer instead…? If it’s a restaurant with smaller portions why not just two appetizers and/or share them…? Or just always get one of the salads with no dressing. It’s difficult to hide calories in that. This is what I do a lot too. I guess to each their own!

  26. tracking says:

    You’d have to be incredibly disciplined to maintain that figure of hers. Seems a smart strategy to me, if she’s not in a position to take leftovers home or give them away.

  27. SJhere says:

    If Nic would care to take my advice….please change the awful color of your hair.
    Also she is a multi-millionaire she can afford to order what she wants and damn the cost.

    IRL, I’m in the heartland of USA and if you’d see the enormous number of truly obese folks who order huge meals including pie at every meal, it’s just surprising.
    I’ve gained a stupid amount of weight myself and am working to lose it. The easiest way I’ve found is to not eat out as much.

    • KB says:

      I’ve never understood how anyone can live in New Orleans and be healthy. I gain five pounds every time I go. I would never have the discipline to live there. I’m not strong enough to resist that food lol.

      • Gigi LaMoore says:

        Other than the beignets, I didn’t care for the food in Louisiana.

      • elle says:

        Same, Gigi.

      • KB says:

        I tend to prefer the “southern” stuff to the creole, but I could eat fried fish, charbroiled oysters, chicken biscuits, and boudin all day. I quite like the all-day drinking as well.

    • nb says:

      I recently started counting calories for the first time in my life and have been doing about 1500 calories a day or so. I lost 10 pounds in 2 months (so a good, healthy weight loss that I can keep long term). I really didn’t realize what a good portion size is, but now that I know I agree that restaurant portions are huge! Last night I went out for dinner and splurged on Mac and Cheese with brisket. The portion was actually pretty moderate sized but I still took home half.

      I stopped eating out so often for lunch and instead meal prep 3-4 days worth of lunches for my husband and I on Sunday night. It has really helped me stay on track with my calories because I am not tempted to eat out if I already have something ready at home. Good luck with your weight loss!

      • Snowflake says:

        Great job, nb.

      • KB says:

        I always thought counting calories was so extreme (when I didn’t need to), but now I can’t imagine not considering my calorie intake. I’d love for it to not be necessary for me, but it has completely changed what I eat and my portion sizes. I am so much healthier since I started paying attention to it.

  28. homeslice says:

    I think it’s fine if that’s what makes her happy. I just think it’s sad in some ways that women restict food intake in exchange for their physical appearance. I was always skinny and never worried, after kids and aging, it’s a daily battle for me. I really want the food, but I know I shouldn’t. It sucks.

    • Snowflake says:

      Yeah, it is sad that we put ourselves through all this just to look good. We need to be easier on ourselves

  29. Jessica says:

    Ok. Let’s stop this wasteful peasant crap. Did it ever occur to anyone that some people cannot eat a full meal? I am one of them. I am a loser peasant lawyer in the Midwest. I try to search out small plates. I can maybe eat half an entree. Maybe. Sometimes stuff like this is not people micromanaging their diet for thin purposes. Good God.

  30. Veronica S. says:

    I’d say she’s actually doing the opposite, IMO – by asking for fifty percent in advance, she doesn’t have to throw out the rest later. She may be paying more for the meal, but I’d rather her do that than waste food AND money. Restaurant portions in America are pretty massive, so I often wind up taking half of it home because I am a peasant and will eat it for lunch the next day.

  31. Other Renee says:

    No shade on Nicole for this. I know people who do this. The idea is that it takes twenty minutes to feel full after a meal so if we keep on shoveling it in, we may not realize that if we had just eaten half of the meal in the first place, that would have sufficed.

    In some states, restaurants are required to include the calorie count next to each item. It’s staggering and shocking to see that an innocent looking salad is 1400 calories! It’s mainly the dressing but not always. That vegan bean burger may be 1200 calories. Vegan restaurant food is notoriously fattening because they add a ton of fat etc to make it taste good. We eat a lot of vegan food so I’ve really got to watch the calories when I eat out or buy food.

    • liriel says:

      Even the vegan restaurants. Recently I saw a small piece of cake. Around 800 calories. I prefer to make my own meals!

  32. Gigi LaMoore says:

    The last I checked, people in the US still get to decide how to spend their money. Why should she take food home she isn’t going to eat? I’m not a big leftover fan. Maybe she isn’t either.

    • me says:

      Yeah I don’t see anything wrong with ordering half a meal. The portions at most places are HUGE anyways. I just wonder do they charge her half the price too?

    • KB says:

      I love leftovers, but I’ve got a lot of friends and family that take them home and then toss them untouched two days later. If this story is true, Nicole is being less wasteful than my friends, and they’ve got a lot less money than her. The other half of the meal is either not being made, or feeding someone on the restaurant staff. She should be applauded!

  33. Ruby says:

    I find it funny, that on a site where contributors try to champion female agency that anybody feels the need to police and judge what Nicole eats.

  34. perplexed says:

    The waitresses can probably eat the rest in the back. And it’s been left untouched so it’s not like it would be gross for them to eat. I don’t see how packing it as a leftover would make a difference. Either that, or maybe the chef actually makes the meal smaller (that part wasn’t clear to me — i.e the method). So, whichever method she’s using, I don’t see how what she’s doing is wasteful. Maybe she netted a loss on what she paid, but the restaurant and the waiters get their money so it’s all going back into the system, and it doesn’t seem like any wastage happened though the scenario she’s using.

  35. Lisa says:

    I’ll admit that restaurant portions are usually big, probably more in the States, but aren’t a lot of the places she’d frequent into smaller portion sizes anyway? Where you get like, 5 large ravioli and still pay $80 for those alone?

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching your portions, it just seems unnecessary. She could bring the other half home for the next day.

    • perplexed says:

      Restaurants use a lot of butter and heavy-calorie seasoning things. Even if you’re given smaller portions, I suspect you’d still be taking in “empty” calories from things you wouldn’t think about consciously as helping you gain weight.

      • Lisa says:

        Fair point, but there are a lot of lighter options you can order, too!

      • perplexed says:

        Salad is probably the safest thing to order if you don’t want to gain even a little bit of weight. I think the meat dishes would have probably been soaked in fat. I’m just guessing though. Wouldn’t be surprised if even something like Brussel sprouts has been doused with something.

      • Veronica says:

        You must be in one of those states where salads are still healthy. In my state, they put French fries and mozzarella on them, lol.

    • Peggy says:

      I doubt Kidman has much use for leftovers. When she’s working and travelling she’d be eating out/having food brought to her/getting room service and when she’s at home she likely wants to eat a meal with her family, not heat up individual leftovers for herself.

      You can choose a light option at most restaurants, but if you eat out a lot that can get extremely boring. Why restrict yourself to healthy salads and fish and vegetables prepared somewhat blandly when you can have a half portion of whatever catches your eye on the menu.

  36. Snowflake says:

    I don’t see the problem with that. I always tell myself I’m going to box up half. I get the food, I start feeling full but I don’t see the waiter. So I sit there and keep picking at it until it’s gone. I lost weight, now I’m in the maintenance phase. It’s so hard to keep eating smaller. Like someone else mentioned rice, I had no idea how many calories were in it and that a portion is tiny. A third of what they put w your Chinese takeout.

    • Veronica says:

      The waiter wait is the worst, lol. “Oh, I’m not hungry anymore, let me just push all the rice to the side…and slowly pick at it a few grains a time…so I can pretend I’m not really eating more.”

      I eventually learned to just tell them not to send out whatever processed/simple carb beckons me with a siren’s call to continue munching on at well after I’m full. Because it’s always the carbs. The protein is heavier and much easier to resist.

  37. ocjulia says:

    A Vat of Mashed Potatoes.

    To quote Liz Lemon: I want to go to there.

  38. KB says:

    It’s a great way to “cheat” as well. When I want fast food, I always order off the kid’s menu. You get to have a burger or chicken tenders and fries for 1/3 of the calories you’d have if you ordered a regular meal. You get your junk food fix and you’ve only had 400-600 calories instead of 1,500-2,000. I can always find something healthier off the regular menu at a sit-down restaurant, but for junk food, the kid’s menu is great.

    Nicole is probably eating half of a salad or grilled fish or something, but even salads and fish can be over 1,000 calories a lot of times. Plus, she lives in Nashville, right? I haven’t been since I was a kid, but I’m sure portion sizes there aren’t much different than most of the US.

  39. ladida says:

    Only when I’m dieting is it hard for me to control myself. Like, I would have to be really out of control to be afraid of eating an entire plate of food rather than stop when I’m full and take home the rest. Of course, it’s a privilege to turn down food, not everyone has this luxury. As for Nicole, she’s always been thin but never scarily so. She’s obviously very fit and takes good care of herself.

  40. Pandy says:

    Great idea! I try to only eat half but I love eating until I can’t move lol. I have to ruin my remainders with a bunch of salt so I don’t sit and pick at it until I end up eating all of it anyway. This makes more sense.

  41. Ali says:

    I don’t get the fuss over this. American portions are way to big in my experience, no matter where you go. I lived in Italy for a few months for work and ate wine and pasta all the time but gained no weight because they were normal portions. She doesn’t want to waste the food. She has the money. So this seems like the best solution. Why begrudge her for it?

  42. paranormalgirl says:

    I do this all the time. I usually box half right at the start of my meal. Some restaurants where I am a regular actually box my other half and give it to me when I leave. It works for me.

  43. Annie says:

    This makes a lot of sense to me if you’re a movie star who wants to order, like, a pasta dish or something. No judgment. But if food is good, you should take it home! It’s not wasteful if you eat it 🙂 Sometimes having leftovers from a favorite restaurant will give me something to look forward to all of the next day.

    Maybe you can’t take home a dressed salad, but good lord, how thin do we demand our actresses be if a whole salad is too caloric? Yikes.

  44. Kat says:

    Taking the rest home produces extra packaging waste, unless you bring your own reusable containers.

  45. PodyPo says:

    I do this sometimes because I find a great big portion of food unappetizing. If I am traveling or not going directly home it isn’t practical to take a go-box. Everybody’s different. I prefer to eat at the type of restaurants that serve artfully arranged small portions, but that’s not always in the cards. Many people mistake quantity for quality. I can only hope that these habits/preferences will give me Nicole’s body someday.

  46. Hannah Maguire says:

    I often ask for a half portion. Never thought it odd! Oops.

    • Helen Smith says:

      I ask for less on my sub sandwiches because I loose half of the meat and toppings because they overfill the roll so ridiculously. You can’t close it and eat unless you reduce the amount in the roll. Plus, who can eat all of that food at once. Subs usually don’t last six hours very well. The lettuce wilts, the bread becomes soggy. Yuck. I end up throwing my leftovers away. And if I order to go, most of the time I otder the kids sub which only is four inches long at my local shop. It comes with a small drink, fruit and a cookie. I find that it is enough food. I’ve only been confronted once for odering the kids meal. I lied and said it was for my daughter, Gigi. I didn’t tell the clerk that Gigi is a dog.

  47. Violet says:

    Just came here to advise (as an Australian) that the No. 1 travel tip for Australians who go to America is “Order one meal between two.” Universal advice that applier no matter who you are and where you are going… So this makes a hell of a lot of sense to me.

  48. Helen Smith says:

    I order to go off of the kids menu. Portions are out of control and I don’t want the leftovers. I usually treat myself to unhealthy food like fettuccine alfredo and pizza when I eat out and I make the healthy stuff at home the majority of the time.

    That said. Getting back to Nicole. To each his own. If Nicole wants to toss the rest, she has the money to do it. She’s an adult and its her decision to make with her meal.

  49. Amaria says:

    No wonder. American portions are enormous! Everything’s got tons of added fat, sugar and salt, too. It’s really no surprise there’s an obesity epidemic, especially with so many people drinking soda as if it were water. Perhaps one can’t see it living in US all their life, but to an outsider the amounts of food served and eaten there are absurd.

  50. sharron says:

    I’m struggling to eat at the moment (mouth surgery) and small portions have helped me eat healthier for the last fortnight, eating more often but less volume. I shall try to stick to this when my stitches are out, I feel much better & have indeed dropped some weight.

  51. SM says:

    I remember the first time I came to US and we went to some chain restaurant there were 4 of us (two males) and we coild not finish our portions. So we used to order less portions and share. By the end of second week we went to Canada and sort of were already used to big portions and when the waiter brought us the portions we usually get here on Europe it felt like we were robbed:) but yeah, big portions is a very relative deffinotion it does depend on where you go.

  52. babco says:

    No offense to the Americans, but I am another European who is shocked at the amount of food that passes as a meal for 1 person in the US (and Australia). It s a lot and very, very rich.

    It s sooo bad. Impossible for people not to get fat, it is a waste of food, a waste of natural resources and a lot of pollution just to make people a bit more sick and unhealthy. Only reason for all this destruction and nonsense is that it makes the food producers, the restaurant industry and advertisers richer.

    Also, if you usually eat such large volumes (even boiled veggies), your stomach will be fully dilated all the time, increasing hunger pangs and appetite. A good preparatory step before you undergo a strict diet is to try to diminish portions sizes in advance so your stomach can already retract a bit.

    And Nicole is not wasteful by not eating all her food, it s the restaurant and fast food industry who are guilty of establishing these crazy standards. Morgan Spurlock is a twat and a half but SuperSizeMe was a good documentary.

    She does not deserve shade for her frugality and self-control. She is doing herself, the rest of society and the planet a favor.

  53. Chris Crocker says:


    Also is this site run by scientologists? I know that there was a period of time when scientologists were planting gossip stories about Nicole eating placentas and stuff and this sort of sounds like one of those stories…

    • Lady D says:

      If you read the comments, you will note that most of the comment are praising her.
      As for being Scio-bots, baby you came to the right place. We are all 100% Scientologists on this board, and now shortly you will be too. Watch for the emails, we’ll all send them to you, ha, ha, ha. You will soon be inundated with our material, get your cheque book out, and thank you so much for posting here:)

  54. nikki says:

    It depends on where she is eating. The portions at a lot of places are obscene, and are meals no one should finish in one sitting.

  55. Blonde555 says:

    … if she only asked for half her Botox…

  56. Jo says:

    I can’t vouch for all her meals, but a few years ago she & K.U. came into the pub in London where the OH & I were lunching. They both ordered & received full meals. If you do want to watch what you’re eating, it’s tougher to stop at the right time when there’s a ton of food left on your plate. The couple of times I’ve been to the US, the portion sizes have been so large as to be almost off-putting, so maybe that’s a factor.
    FYI – the first thing I noticed was how thin she is. Even before I even knew who it was, I could see them at the bar and thought to myself, “I hope she’s ordering a proper meal there, cos she looks like she could do with it.”

  57. Pam says:

    Everyone in Hollywood does this. Or they ask for an extra plate, put half the meal on it and have the waitress take it away. Its a good way to control how much you eat.

  58. Jag says:

    I clicked on this thinking that she does like I have in the past, which is to ask when ordering for half of it to be put in a container for me to take home. It’s easier to just do it at the beginning like that, imo. But at least the wait staff – or one of them – will have a wonderful half of a meal to take home for themselves.

    My sister worked at a very nice French restaurant and was always bringing home fabulous bottles of wine and food that people hadn’t finished. The germaphobe in me couldn’t do that unless it was the wine, but if I knew that the person had asked for it to be halved prior to them touching it? I could absolutely eat it then.