My, how they’ve grown – portions, that is. In recent years, restaurant and fast food dishes – along with candy bars, soft drinks and donuts – have gotten bigger and bigger. For example, in the 1980s, a 2.8 ounce fast food cheeseburger was 202 calories. Today, it’s 4.3 ounces and 590 calories. Twenty years ago, a soda pop was 6.5 ounces and 85 calories. Today’s soda is 16 ounces and 250 calories.
These portion size increases have been accompanied by an alarming rise in obesity levels among children and adults in the U.S. So how does one fight the Portion War?
First, be aware of reasonable portion sizes – and for that, here are some “handy” tips:
- ½ cup of vegetables is the size of a cupped hand.
- 1 cup of cereal or one potato should be about the size of a fist.
- 3 ounces of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand.
- 1 cup of milk is about the size of a small hand holding a tennis ball.
If these portions seem small, remember that your stomach is only about the size of two fists!
You’ll also want to be proactive in managing portions while dining out.
- So “no” when asked if you want your meal super-sized.
- Eat only half of your entrée and take the rest home in a to-go box.
- Ask for half orders of pasta and salad and request petite cuts of meat.
To become more portion-savvy, download the following resources
- Pocket-Sized Portion Guide from Live Better America
- American Heart Association Serving Size Visual
- American Heart Association Portion Control Guide