Don’t scuttle healthy weight loss with super-sized portions

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 27 February 2009.
Tagged: diet, diet meals, dieting, diets, healthy weight loss, portion size, weight loss

Don’t scuttle healthy weight loss with super-sized portions

Whether you're at a local café, fast food outlet or supermarket, I bet you've noticed how big the portion sizes of food have become. I'm talking about whopper-sized burgers, buckets of juice, pizza that no-one can finish, huge choc chip cookies and raisin toast so thick that you're eating the equivalent to two slices of regular bread.

It's not just me!

Research tells me it's not just me - the trend to super-sized serves has been growing since the early 1990s and it's no coincidence that so has the rate of obesity.

Look at these examples of modern-day super-sizing:

  • your wine now comes in huge glasses than can hold one-third 250mL of a bottle
  • movie popcorn is sold in obscenely-huge buckets - that you never get to the bottom of!
  • muffins balloon out of their paper cases
  • freshly-squeezed juice is the equivalent of 5 pieces of fruit
  • coffee chains upsize your morning java and throw in a Danish pastry for the same price.

All the above are great bargains, but researchers have shown that the bigger the serve size in front of you, the more you'll eat.

You don't have to be a nutritionist to put two and two together - increasing serve sizes mirrors the trend to increasing waistlines.

Everyone enjoys a treat. But it's got to be modest - eating one or two squares of chocolate every now and then is fine. Eating a whole block or a couple of rows every day is not.

Treats are high in kilojoules (calories), high in fat or sugar and served in portions that are too huge for our overweight sedentary world.

 Fast food melange

Here are 7 ways to help you stay lean and cope with large portions:

1. Only eat what you NEED. Listen to your stomach and stop when you feel full.

2. If there's a choice, opt for the smaller size - especially for chocolate, pastries and salty packet snacks like crisps and corn chips.

3. Ask restaurants for a half-portion. Or share an appetiser or a main with a friend.

4. Take leftovers home in a ‘doggie bag'. Just keep it refrigerated for later.

5. Don't get fooled by upsized meals when you buy fast food. It might cost only 40c more, but it costs you another notch in your belt from extra kilojoules/Calories you don't need.

6. If you do buy a two-for-one offer, eat half now, save half for later.

7. Women generally need smaller portions than men. If you eat together as a couple, don't eat the same sized serves as your man.


 Want more?

download1Don't over consume big portions unknowingly.
Check out one of my best articles showing actual versus restaurant sized portions.

download1 Want help down-sizing those big serves? 
Download my Portion caution free fact sheet.