Sunday, April 11, 2010

Portion Control: Know When to Say When

Tonight for Sunday dinner I made my famous mashed potatoes. I had thirds and even fourths and I knew I should have not eaten so much but they were so good. I finished my meal feeling full and guilty for not having more self control. I didn't even want to find out what a proper serving of mashed potatoes is supposed to be afterwards.

One of my least favorite things is to worry about portions and serving sizes. It is often eye opening and sometimes depressing when you realize how small some serving sizes are supposed to be. When I was younger, I often ate cereal in giant mixing bowls. I didn't realize that my large bowl was actually about 12 servings.

The problem with not understanding serving sizes is that many food manufacturers like to make deceptive claims about the calorie and fat content that is found in their product. They may say things like "only 100 calories per serving", but If you look close, a serving might be a ridiculously small amount like 6 tablespoons.

In addition to deceptive labeling, serving sizes have gotten bigger over the years. A 32 ounce big gulp used to be the biggest size of soda pop available. Today you can get a 64 ounce drink! I hope your you work close to a restroom. Almost every kind of fast food has evolved into bigger portions over time. I am not promoting fast food, but if you are going to eat out, sticking with items on the dollar menu will give you a smaller and more reasonable serving size.

One of my favorite comedians is Brian Regan and he does a great job of addressing this topic. ">

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