3 Simple Tips to Help Control Your Portions

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sxc.hu: ppreacher

It would be pretty hard to deny the massive increase in our portions over the past few decades.

It seems everything from muffins to coffee have grown considerably. And unfortunately, so too have our waistlines.

Surveys have confirmed fast food chains are serving portions which are.

In fact, when McDonald's first opened in 1955, its only hamburger weighed around 1.6 ounces. Now, the largest hamburger weighs 8 ounces.

I don't believe bigger portions have been the sole cause of the obesity epidemic, but I think for many people, large quantities of low quality foods have skewed the perception of what a healthy portion should look like.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's , gives a great visual representation of today's sizes compared with years ago. Here's just a few:

20 years ago

  • A cheeseburger had 333 calories
  • 2.4 ounces of French fries had 210 calories
  • And, a 3-inch bagel had 140 calories


  • A cheeseburger has 590 calories
  • 6.9 ounces of French fries have 610 calories
  • And, a 5-6-inch bagel has 350 calories

Clearly, things have changed in a big way.

Here are 3 simple ways to control your food portions:

1. Reduce your plate size
Plates, bowls, and cup sizes have increased over the years too. And, it's a well known fact that bigger eating containers and cutlery influences how much people eat.

I'm not saying eat with kiddy plates, but at least be aware of the link.

2. Divide your dishes
If you find it difficult to get the balance right, try mentally drawing the letter Y on your plate. Then place carbs on one third, proteins on one third, and vegetables or fruit on one third (have extra here if you like).

This will help you get the balance between grains and meat, and remind you to eat some vegetables or fruit at each meal.

3. Use the Zimbabwe hand jive
If the above isn't helpful, try using your hands to gauge portion sizes.

Proteins should be roughly the size of your palm, carbs the size of your fist, and for vegetables, it's two full outstretched hands worth.

What is your best advice for reducing portion sizes? Share your ideas in the comments below...

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