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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Portion Distortion


photo by hometown invasion club

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More people are eating out at restaurants for many of their daily meals. As time has gone by, restaurants have been making portions much larger than they need to be. Now I don't know which came first, jumbo-sized meals, jumbo-sized appetites, or jumbo-size butts but either way, when you order a meal at a restaurant, you are likely to get a meal that would be more appropriately 2 or more servings. McDonald's sold meals in the 1950's that would be considered a kid's meal today.

I recently went to a highly rated local eatery and was stunned when my plate of food arrived. In hindsight, the portions were definitely on the large side, but the plate that it was served on was, without a doubt, the largest plate I have ever seen. Large plates make large portions seem normal-sized. Here are some guidelines for appropriate portion sizes for different items:

  • Lean protein (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, etc) - a piece the size of a deck of cards
  • Cheese - 1 oz. - volume equivalent to 4 dice, or a piece the size of your thumb
  • Carbohydrate (i.e. pasta, rice) - 1/2 cup - an amount the size of a tennis ball
  • Vegetables - 1 cup - an amount the size of baseball, but seriously no one gets enough veggies, eat all you want
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CindyPTN said...

So true! At home we eat on the salad size plates. It's become second nature of us and helps with keeping normal sized portions.