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October 3rd, 2016

Size Does Matter

by Dr. Jade Dellinger

An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be – Anonymous

It might be helpful if we were all engineers when it came to our food.  We are exposed to supersized and packaged foods that are often double, triple or even quadruple the size we should be eating!  It is no wonder that according to the CDC, over one-third of the adult U.S. population is obese and the obesity rate in children has tripled since 1980!

When it comes to food, we need to remember we are fueling our bodies, not just feeding them.  Most cravings are learned, meaning you aren’t born to crave sugar or fast food.  When you cut down on these items, the cravings for them will lessen.

 Let’s take a closer look on serving sizes and how to make it easier to determine how much to eat!

Food Item

Comparable Item

Meat – 3 oz

Deck of Cards

Cheese – 1 oz

1 Cube, 1.5 slice

Fruit/Vegetable

Size of your fist

Pasta

Scoop of ice cream

Rice

Cupcake Wrapper

Bagel

 Hockey Puck

Almost all available food items are bigger then they should be.  Bagels are nearly double the size and so are meats.  If you measure your food out for a few meals you will start to get the hang of how much you should be eating.  Here are a few tips on how to maintain proper portions!

  1. Use smaller plates at home. You will be less tempted to fill the entire thing!
  2. Don’t go back for seconds!
  3. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers in premeasured amounts. When you decide to reheat, the work is already done for you!
  4. Never eat out of the bag. You are more likely to eat 3 or more servings if you snack directly from the container.
  5. Ask for half or smaller portions when eating out.
  6. Most restaurants serve double or triple servings. Ask for a to-go box right away and put half the food away.
  7. “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV.  Remember that quote the next time you sit down to eat.  Think about what your cells, brain and heart need to function.  Do you really need that second serving?

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