The US study found that moviegoers given large buckets of popcorn ate 34 per cent more than those given a medium-sized container. Yet 77 per cent thought they would eat the same amount regardless of the container size.
While people seem to appreciate that portion size can influence the amount of food others consume, they seem to have a false sense of security thinking they will not be affected.
upsizing fuels weight gain
Watching portion size is a key factor to help people lose and maintain a lower weight. Yet one study of US fast-food restaurants showed that portion sizes have increased by up to 62 per cent over a 20-year period! By upsizing from small to large fries or from a medium to large muffin, for example, you get approximately 200 calories more and these extra calories do add up.
It is now recognised that consuming simply 100 calories more per day than what your body needs is the chief culprit in causing the alarming trend toward obesity.
preventing portion distortion
When eating out:
- Order the entree-sized meal
- Share a main meal with a friend
- Order mineral water or herbal/fruit teas and small soft drinks/juices
- Order the small-size snack foods and don't supersize
- Read food labels and check the portion size recommended
- Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants
- Prepare precise amounts of food
- Use smaller plates and bowls
- Fill at least half of your plate with salad or steamed vegetables
- Carefully measure the portion of rice, potato or other carbohydrates
- If you eat meat, limit the serve to the size of a pack of cards
- Freeze leftovers in single-portion containers—eg 2 cups (500 mL)
For a tasty, portion-controlled recipe click here.