Over the past twenty years, our concept of portion size has grown with our waist bands. While 50 grams and 150 calories used to easily satisfy our needs, we now expect, and are only happy with, the same products at quadruple the size. We purchase palm-size cookies that were clearly measured against a giant’s hand. We eat gargantuan meals on platters rather than plates. We inhale two liters of soda without batting an eye. We devour whatever is put before us. While a slightly larger intake may not seem like a tremendous crisis, eating just 200 more calories each day could equate to a weight gain of 18 pounds a year.
Why don’t we just buy the fat pants now?
Because, there are solutions to this problem!
You can conquer the profligate portions, with your eyes. If you take the time to measure out appropriate amounts, you can teach yourself to recognize how much you should be eating. A serving size of meat, for example, is three ounces. That is equivalent to a deck of cards, stacked. Half a cup of rice or pasta, cupped, should mirror a tennis ball. And, a proper piece of cheese doesn’t surpass the dimensions of a matchbox. The next time you’re dishing out dinner, serve using these cues. Then, when you’re out, you’ll know when to stop.
But, what if these smaller portion sizes are leaving you less than satisfied? Well, that’s when you start tricking rather than training your eyes.
Studies have shown that when we’re presented with the same amount on different sized dishes, we can be fooled into believing that there is more. A serving of spaghetti on a nine-inch plate will look bountiful, compared to that on a 12-inch plate. Liquid in a short squat glass will appear to be a mere sip, but when poured into a tall thin glass, it looks like liquid indulgence. If we use smaller platters and skinnier cups, we’ll consume less yet not want more. We’ll be satisfied with reasonable amounts. The 18 pounds we’ve been mindlessly adding will be no more. We’ll have control of our portion size and, thus, control of our waist size.
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