More is Better
That’s what we’re led to believe. More of a good thing is always better. More money, free time, happiness, friends – Food? Food is a very good thing – We can’t live without it. But we all know we can get too much of this particular good thing. Eating too much WILL cause you to gain weight. Since the 1970’s obesity rates have skyrocketed in this country. Some would blame this epidemic on government conspiracies, GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, faulty government nutritional guidelines, or greed. In this post, I’ll tackle the last one – Greed.
We, as a whole, always want more. More makes us happy. More is a sign of success. More is better. More is more. More. More. More. The food industry wants more too. More market share. More of your money. So it plays on your greed. It. Gives. You. More. The Whopper. Big Mac. Super Size. So you eat more. And it’s not just fast food. People are drawn to restaurants with large portions like lemmings to the sea.
In 1955, when Ray Kroc founded the McDonald’s franchise, the size of a burger patty was 1.6 ounces (a hamburger was 240 calories). An order of fries was 2.4 ounces (210 calories). Today the Super Size fries are 7.1 ounces (610 calories). Half pound burgers are common place (The Double Quarter Pounder with cheese is 740 calories). While you can still get the original burger and fries (Happy Meal size) – unless you leave a lot of room in the cup – you can’t get the 7 oz soda circa 1955 From the 1955’s until today, we’ve suffered from portion distortion. Food servings have become larger and larger as we expect more and more.
Portion Distortion – It’s not just when you’re out to lunch (or dinner)
It might have started with restaurants, but market items have been affected by portion distortion as well. Prepackaged bagels, cookies, chips – you name it, it’s larger. Dinner plates have increased from 9 inches to 12 inches in diameter. The same recipes in “The Joy of Cooking” now serve fewer people than in the ’50s. Even when we eat at home we’ve gotten used to looking at our food through our portion distortion goggles and generally eat more.
Portion Sizes by Numbers
- 1,233 – Percentage increase of size of a chocolate bar since early 1900s
- 223 – Percentage increase of size of a burger since the 1950s
- 500 – Percentage increase of size of a fountain soda since the 1950s
- 4.56 – Increase in size of restaurant portion compared to the 1950s
- 28 – Increase in number of pounds of average weight of a man since the 1960s
- 24.5 – Increase in number of pounds of average weight of a woman since the 1960s
OK, I just dozed off reading a bunch of scientific articles on portion size
So I don’t do the same to you, here’s the synopsis – Portion size is how much you are served, or serve yourself (serving size is a measurable amount on the food label). The larger the portion, the more you eat. You may not eat all of it, but you do eat more. This phenomenon starts at around age five. Infants and toddlers eat until they are satisfied then stop no matter how much is in front of them. BOO! – just making sure you’re still awake.
How to combat Portion Distortion
When Eating Out
Share an entree with a friend. Put away half of the meal in a To Go box before you start eating. Order the “Kids Meal” equivalent at a fast food joint.
When Eating at Home
Serve individual portions on plates – don’t have extra at the table. Use a smaller plate. Don’t eat out of the bag or box – put a serving in a bowl and put the rest away. This gets me all the time. I buy a “Healthy Snack” like almonds in the big bag – because I’m greedy and want to get more for my money – then eat the whole dang bag in a night or two.
When “Enough ain’t Enough”
Eating the right amount to lose weight – or even to maintain it – is tough. When we become overweight. When the fat cells become dysfunctional. When hunger, appetite control and fullness signals go haywire. Enough just ain’t enough. This is where Strong Weight Loss comes in. We understand those signals and can get your hunger and appetite under control so you can eat the right portions and lose weight. Look us up online – www.strongweightloss.net – or give us a call 262-373-0169.