Portion Power: ‘Then’ Versus ‘Now’

A history of dieting can often create a “good foods” versus “bad foods” list in our minds. We feel absolutely guilt ridden after eating anything off of the “bad” list. In my practice, I am constantly learning of new foods that are perceived as “bad”, including bananas. Many diets blame specific foods for weight gain and label them as the “culprit” for increased fat storage. Often, the what part, of what we are eating, is blamed for weight gain, instead of the how much.

Portion sizes have grown right before our very eyes over the past two decades. Foods packaged in single serving containers, often contain two to three servings. Dinner plates in many restaurants now look like serving platters. As a nation, we are simply eating more. Take this quiz to test your updated calorie knowledge. This quiz, and more, can be found on the National Institute of Health website: http://www.hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion.

**20 years ago**………….**Today**

1. Bagel- 3” diameter a. 250 b. 350 c.150
(140 calories)

2. Cheeseburger a. 590 b. 620 c. 700
( 333 calories)

3. 1 c spaghetti w/sauce a. 1,025 b. 600 c. 800
& 3 small meatballs
(500 calories)

4. Soda- 6.5 oz a. 300 b. 200 c. 250
(85 calories)

5. French Fries- 2.4 oz a. 610 b. 590 c. 650
( 210 calories)

6. Muffin- 1.5 oz a. 320 b. 400 c. 500
(210 calories)

7. Movie Popcorn- 5 cups a. 520 b. 820 c. 630
( 270 calories)

8. 2 slices Pepperoni pizza a. 1,200 b. 850 c. 1,000
(500 calories)

9. Chicken Caesar Salad- 1.5 c a. 790 b. 520 c. 650
(390 calories)

10. Chocolate Chip Cookie- 1.5” diameter a. 275 b. 100 c. 400
(55 calories)


1. b
2. a
3. a
4. c
5. a
6. c
7. c
8. b
9. a
10. a

Tips to Cut Back on Portions

*Split an entrée with the person you are eating with.
*Ask if they have half portions – many do but do not advertise it
*Order an appetizer with soup or salad as your entrée
*Avoid snacking out of packages or containers. Pre-portion snacks out and eat on a plate or napkin, sitting down.
*When eating out, ask the server to bring the bread basket or chips with the meal versus before hand.
*Slow down! The faster you eat, the more you eat. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your body is getting food.
*Swallow one bite before reaching for the next.
*For fast eaters, when eating out with friends, try to be the last one eating.
*Use smaller plates at home
*If you are a fast eater, use a knife and fork when eating pizza.
*Wait a full five to 10 minutes before going back for seconds
*Leave at least two bites. Two bites a day for a week equals a plate of food
*Put the fork down in between bites.
*Ask for a to-go box and put some of your food in it before hand.
*Try not to always choose the largest sizes offered.
*Ordering a side salad or soup (broth, vegetable or bean based) before or during the meal can help slow you down and recognize when you are full.
*Ask for dressing or sauces on the side – dip the fork in it first, then take a bite.
*If unsure of your portions, use measuring tools for just one week to become more aware.

About the author


Cherry Creek Nutrition, Inc.