Control portions to control weight gain

Guest post: Michael, our first Go Fit Boy!

Did you know that when Coca-Cola was introduced in 1886, it was available only in 8-ounce servings? Both in fountain glasses and bottles, 8 ounces was it. Later, it went to 12 ounces, a 50% increase.
Then up from there. Now, at convenience stores, you can get a “big gulp” or some other similarly named sugar-laden soft drink often approaching or even exceeding 32 ounces. That’s a 300% increase from the originally intended serving size. It’s also 300% more empty-calorie sugar than the original serving.
Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are the extreme example of the “super-sizing” of our diets. Big increases have occurred with food portion sizes in many restaurants and on our home dining tables.
Our allowance of — nay, insistence on — portion size increase and thus amount of food we take in is largely responsible for all the weight we Americans have gained.
Control portion size, and you control weight. Period.
Dietitians and physicians throughout the land generally recommend portions that run in the range of 3-5 ounces for most foods we eat regularly, both meal foods and snack foods.
Yet, we find ourselves constantly tempted with advertising images for that 12-ounce steak, or that half-pound burger or that $5 foot-long.
Here’s a fairly simple way to measure portion size and stick to it. Use your cell phone as the measuring device.
A 3-ounce piece of steak is roughly the size of a cell phone.
A 3-ounce piece of chicken is roughly the size of a cell phone.
One cup of French fries — about 10 fries, by the way — is about the size of a cell phone.
Same goes for a piece of cake, a piece of fish, a burger patty.
You get the idea.
If the portion size that you are considering eating is much bigger than your cell phone, it’s likely more of that than you need to eat in one sitting.
Portion size is much easier to control when cooking at home than when going out. But even in restaurants, it is possible.
My wife and I have managed, part of the time at least, to share a meal rather than each of us ordering our own in restaurants. It saves money, and often, to our surprise, we don’t finish it all even when sharing.
Moral of the story: Control portion size and you control weight.
Put another way: If you happen to be one of that very odd few people out there without a food portion measuring device called a cell phone, it’s time to get one and use it.

If you want to read more writings by Michael, check out his blog, ¡Que Aprovecho!

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Thanks so much Michael (aka Dad) for sharing this with us. If anyone is interested in writing a guest post for Go Fit Girl! let me know via comments or send me an e-mail to: ann@gofitgirl.com.

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0 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Portion control is much easier to control at home than going out. To better manage portions on the go basikbox offers a good solution. Basikbox is a new portion control tool for people with busy lives.

    Great article!

  2. That’s a great tip — using the cellphone!