Saturday, November 27, 2010

Portion Distortion

by Kris Pitcher

Super size doesn't begin to describe what has happened to our portion sizes. Further, there is a consumer sense of entitlement that comes with getting big portions. People feel entitled to eat a lot, regardless of their goals to be a certain "normal" weight. We see "everyone else doing it" socially - through very strong marketing, and we think that is normal. Let me tell you something's not normal unless you are choosing obesity.

In order to get a handle on our portion sizes we need to know how much should be on our plate. The Mayo Clinic describes a portion as the amount on your plate, not to be confused with a serving which is a specific measurement of food. They have a handy little slide show on their web site to help explain the difference.

How do you know how much food you're getting? You have to measure it or weigh it. Simple. You need a scale to do that. I like one that has a digital readout, and a zero function - meaning I can add something, zero out and then add another item. You can't rely on guessing when it comes to getting portion sizes right. 

Our scale has a permanent home on the kitchen counter. Every meal is weighed, every time. Period. Otherwise, you don't know what your putting in. And when you want a specific outcome, you need to control what's going in...make sense?

You can begin to get a good feel for serving sizes by familiarizing yourself with labels. Portion sizes are the amount of food you are taking in based on the outcome you want. But Kris, that seems like a lot of work?! Well - you're right it is but there's no room here for portion distortion.

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