Have you ever eaten at the Cheesecake Factory? Good food and great desserts, but wow, their portion sizes are large! When I do go (which is only on special occasions), I usually go home with a “doggie bag.” These larger portion sizes are typical of the growing serving sizes served in American restaurants.
Portion sizes have increased since the 1950s, in restaurants and at home, but many people continue to eat everything put in front of them.
For example, a serving of French fries during the 1950s was about 2 oz. Today, a typically serving size is about 6 oz. A soft drink used to be about 7 fl oz. Today, it has grown to 12 fl oz or larger.
Unless your body burns calories like crazy, eating larger portions = weight gain.
What does a serving really look like?
- 1 slice of bread – size of a CD case
- 1 medium apple, orange, banana, or pear
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of vegetables, fruit, or cooked pasta, cereal, rice, beans, or tofu – the size of an ice cream scoop or one small hand cupped
- 1 Cup leafy vegetables – size of a baseball or 2 small hands cupped
- 1 Cup milk or yogurt – a woman’s clenched fist
- 2-3 oz meat, poultry, or fish – a deck of cards
- 1 1/2 oz cheese – 2 dominoes side by side
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter – 2 thumbs side by side
- 1/2 cup ice cream -1 ice cream scoop
- 1 serving of chips – 1 handful
If you’re trying to lose weight, take a look at your portion sizes. Make sure what you think is a serving really is just one serving. And then next time your dining out, ask for a to-go box at the end of the meal, especially if you happen to eat at the Cheesecake Factory! Doggie bags are always the fashion there!