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Portion Distortion

Do you know what a normal portion of food looks like?  No, not the portion they serve in restaurants.  How many true portions are in the meals they serve in restaurant.  We are so accustomed to thinking of platters as what a plate size should be.  We are used to the food contained in a restaurant portion the norm.  

In only 1957, a “hamburger” weighed one ounce and had 206 calories.  Today, that same “hamburger” weighs six ounces and packs over 600 calories.  Now, that’s portion distortion!

Platter of spaghettiPlatter of spaghettiTypical restaurant entrees are often so large that they contain calories and fat in amounts appropriate for two people (or even more!).   The problem is, we’ve become so accustomed to being served impressive, plate-filling meals that we’ve lost sight of what healthy portions should look like.   Restaurants, knowing that we equate quantity with value, aren’t about to start serving us smaller, healthier portionsunless we ask for them.   Want something smaller – Ask!   Tell your food server you want a smaller version of the meal they’re offering. 

Here are some other tactics for keeping restaurant portions in check:

– On your way to being seated, check out customers are eating; you’ll get a sense of how the restaurant sizes its meals. 

– Order your main meal from the “appetizer” side of the menu instead of the “entrée” side.

– Request that the kitchen split the meal in half and wrap it up before they even serve you.  You can enjoy a smaller portion without being tempted to eat more than you should. And you can bring the leftover half home for the next day’s meal.

– Share an entrée with a friend. (If there are four of you, share two entrees, etc.)

-Ask for the bread and butter basket to be kept in the kitchen.  Alternatively, ask for it to be placed at another location on the table other than by you. 

-Review the restaurant’s menu online before you set foot in the restaurant.  By planning ahead in this way, you’ll know what you want to eat and you won’t have to look at the menu.

When dining out with family and friends, don’t leave your resolve at the door.  Consider eating at a restaurant as a treat that you don’t have to cook or clean after the meal, and it allows you to enjoy the company of others.  Don’t make your dining experiences as an excuse to indulge but focus on the dining experience and being with family and friends.  

Believe In Yourself,

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