How To Overcome “Portion Distortion”



With 40% of Americans expected to be obese by the year 2019, there are many initiatives underway to try to combat the spread of obesity across lines of class, race, education and economic status. And while legislators and others examine ways to legislate healthy living and healthy food choices, many of us simply need to make better choices on a day to day basis.

While we could talk about all manner of issues regarding weight loss and obesity, this post is concerned specifically with portion sizes.

Did you know that, in 1970, the average bagel weighed 3 ounces and delivered 230 calories? And would you believe that the average bagel in 2012 weighs 6 ounces and delivers 550 calories?

And in the 1970s, a portion of french fries contained an average of 30 fries and 450 calories, compared to 2012 when the average serving of fries contains about 50 fries and 790 calories!

Portion sizes are definitely out of control, and we can assess that simply by looking at the sizes of sodas and other drinks that are now so widely available. Movie theaters, convenience stores, and many restaurants (especially fast food restaurants) now serve enormous sodas to consumers who accept those ballooned sizes to consume more.

In the 1950s, a 12-ounce can of soda was considered “king size”, and now 32-ounce sodas are very common. And don’t think that these sodas of today have less sugar than they did in the 50s. They have more sugar, in fact, and a lot of that sugar now comes in the form of high fructose corn syrup, a synthesized form of sugar that is blamed by many for fueling America’s current epidemic of obesity.

Here’s 4 tips to get your portion distortion under control:

1. Don’t Skip Meals
If you’re starving, you’re more likely to eat an extra-large portion. For most people, the best plan is to eat three well-designed meals and one snack. Be sure to eat a minimum of three times a day, avoiding going longer than five hours without eating.

2. Know the Rule of Thumb
Your hand is a great measuring tool. Did you know that 3 ounces of lean meat is equivalent to a deck of cards? And 1 cup of breakfast cereal is about the size of a fist? This info is crucial, particularly when you need to choose the right portion size quickly.