Want to Lose Weight? Mind Your Portions

Have you ever ordered an entrée at a restaurant and about fell out of your seat when the plate arrived at your table because the portions were super-duper size and hanging off the plate? Restaurants have been serving larger than recommended portions for a long time now, and according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), food portions in America’s restaurants have doubled or tripled over the last 20 years, a key factor that is contributing to an increase in obesity among children and adults.

Portion sizes from 20 years ago are drastically different from today’s food portions. For example, a bagel portion 20 years ago was 3 inches (diameter), and today, a bagel portion is 6 inches (diameter). A cheeseburger portion 20 years ago was 4.5 ounces, and today, a cheeseburger portion is 8 ounces. It’s no wonder waistlines keep growing!

If you’re trying to lose weight and implementing food portion control, you may want to remember these visual cues from Mayo Clinic to remind yourself of reasonable serving sizes.

  • Two teaspoons of regular mayonnaise are about the same size as two dice.
  • One 2-ounce patty of cooked lean hamburger and one 2.5-ounce piece of cooked skinless chicken is about the same size as two-thirds of a deck of cards.
  • Half a cup of whole-grain cooked pasta is about the same size as a hockey puck.
  • One and a half to 2 ounces of low-fat hard cheddar cheese are about the same size as three to four dice.

While you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to skip those restaurants that you know serve super-duper size portions. With a little determination and an awareness of portion control, you will be on your way to healthier eating and losing weight.