Ever since I read the book The Portion Teller a few years back, I have been intrigued by portion sizes. Gradually, over the years, the size of our meals (and even our plates) has increased and as a result, so have our waistlines.
I am convinced that the #1 reason for the obesity epidemic in America is due to our portion sizes. If you've ever been to another country you've noticed two things; the people are smaller and the meals are smaller. The relationship between the two is not a coincidence.
Human nature is that we will eat most, if not all, that is in front of us. Can you remember the last time you took a few bites of a cookie and threw the rest away? How about a piece of pizza, a hot dog, or an ice cream cone? Not likely.
We are now so accustomed to the larger portion sizes that we're served and we don't think twice about finishing every last bite. I think if we were made more aware of just how big our portions are we might think about pouring a little less cereal, not going for the second or third slice of pizza, or splitting dessert with a friend.
Here are some portion shockers from Lisa Young's book The Portion Teller:
* Sizzler offers a 24-ounce porterhouse steak. This is equal to three days' worth of meat according to USDA recommendations.
* A typical muffin weighs in at over 6 ounces and contains more than an entire day's worth of grains.
* Between 1984 and 1987 the exact same chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle TOLL HOUSE package scaled down the number of cookies it makes from 100 to 60.
* In 1964 Burger King offered a 12-ounce small and a 16-ounce large soft drink. Today's drinks come in five sizes: 12-ounce kiddie, 16-ounce small, 22-ounce medium, 32-ounce large and 42-ounce king.
* The first Hershey Milk Chocolate bar weighed .6 ounces. Today they range from 1.6 ounces to 8 ounces.
This is just the beginning of our super sized culture, and my hope is that with this knowledge comes power. Start thinking about what a serving should actually look like and make a goal to cut back on the amount of food you eat throughout the day. Next week I'll share practical ways to figure out just how much you should be eating.
Rachel Lukasavige is a Health Coach at Lukas Coaching. Visit www.lukascoaching.com/resources.htm for a ton of free tools to help you improve your health, finances, business, career & life!