Portion Sizes: Then and Now


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By: Nikki Nies

One of the driving complaints about fast food, franchises and restaurants as whole is that they’re portions are small and you’re not getting your money’s worth.  While everyone knows that portions have doubled, sometimes tripled, people are still not satisified with the amount of food they’re getting relation to what they’re paying.

With such large portions provided, it can be hard to know how much to eat sometimes.  The average restaurant chain serves 96% of its entrees exceeding the recommended Dietary Guidelines for fat, saturated fat and sodium.  Now you may argue that you can tell how much a portion is, but researchers are finding people tend to clean their plates, rather than taking leftovers home.  cdc-new-abnormal-infographic

To put in perspective, an extra 10 calories daily can add up to a pound a year.  A pound a year can lead up to 20 pounds in 2 decades.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not one that 20 extra pounds sits well with.  Join with me in the awareness of intuitive eating and not giving into the portion distortions society is deceiving us.

The scary part?  Over the last couple decades, with the increase in portions, many consumers and restauranteers haven’t noticed the portion increase.  If anything, they’re still stingy with portions, expecting more!

Have no fear, while it may sound like an daunting task, the uphill battle is not impossible!

  • Start becoming familiar with food labels and servings.  Check out a previous post on how to read a food label at: https://wedishnutrition.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/breaking-the-code-of-nutrition-facts-labels/
  • Familiarize yourself with portion sizes.
  • Compare marketplace portions to recommended servings sizes
  • When dining out, to decrease chances of over eating, when served, automatically, remove at least 1/2 of the serving off your plate, so you’re not tempted to over eat
  • Slow down and enjoy the meal! Eating slower helps one enjoy the meal more and decreases chances of needing a second helping!
  • Share a meal.  It makes you feel less guilty about the meal you’re about to embark on

I hope you walk away from this post, energized to trump those deceiving portions! If you think about it, by decreasing portions, you’re not only eating less, but saving money, eating leftovers means you don’t have to cook another meal! Win-win!

Photo Credit: Revolt Against and Divine Caroline 

Sources: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Patients/Pages/PortionDistortion-ServingSizesareGrowing.asp

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/portion-sizes-infographic_n_1539804.html

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=129685

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