Hmmmmm..... Has our perception of "normal" portion sizes shifted a bit? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they most definitely have... It seems our portion sizes have grown and so have we! The new "(Ab)normal eating habits we have acquired are something to pay attention to, so I thought I would write a little blog about it. :-)
Did you know that the average restaurant meal today is more than four times larger than in the 1950's? And adults are, on average, 26 pounds heavier?? Burgers today are three times bigger than they were in the 1950's and men are, on average, 28 pounds heavier.
The average American eats away from home four times a week, and studies have shown that contributes to putting on 8 extra pounds a year! But, eating out does not have to mean eating too much or having to eat unhealthy foods. It just means you need to pay attention to portion sizes, share meals, take food home instead of cleaning your plate and order foods that have not been deep fried, or drowned in cream sauces, or sauteed in lots of butter or oil. We can break these (Ab)normal eating habits!
Portion sizes can be confusing. After all, who really knows what 1 ounce of cheese looks like, or what a 3 ounce serving of meat is supposed to be?? Here's a tip - let your hand be your guide. Use your fist, thumb and palm to help you with portion sizes!
One Ounce = Your thumb. In general, one thumb-size chunk is about one ounce.
Three Ounces = A serving of meat, fish or poultry is a lot less than you think. 2 1/2 to 3 ounces constitutes a serving. That's about the same size as the palm of your hand (minus fingers and thumb).
One Cup = Your fist is about the same size as one cup. So, if you have a bowl of pasta in front of you, it's probably at least 2 cups worth or more. Keep that in mind when you balance that out with the other food you have eaten that day. Take half of it home and have the left-overs for lunch the next day.
The good news is that more restaurants are beginning to offer alternatives to fat and calorie-laden foods and they are also usually more than willing to accommodate your requests for customizing your order to suit your needs.
If you are aware of "portion distortion" it will really help you make good choices when ordering out and even when preparing your meals at home. If you would like more information, visit: MakingHealthEasier.org/TimeToScaleBack
That's it for now -
Until next time - "Live Now-Live Well!"