Unless you’re a total food saint and never go out to eat, you’ve no doubt found yourself in a restaurant face to face with a plate containing enough food to feed a small elephant. And I’m sure you’ve also heard it said repeatedly that portion sizes in this country are out of control. But since we’re all so used to seeing these super-sized servings it can be hard to put its true meaning in perspective.
I found a website that can help. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has two “Portion Distortion” quizzes that compare the serving sizes and calorie counts of some common foods from 20 years ago to the serving sizes and calorie counts of today. Most of the numbers are astounding. I mean, who thinks about the fact that the average bagel is twice the size (and over twice the calories) as it was all those years ago?!?!
If the calorie count alone isn’t enough motivation, the quiz also tells you how many minutes of exercise you will need to burn off the extra calories that come with today’s servings. I definitely don’t need to spend an extra hour and twenty minutes walking off a jumbo Caesar salad!
So let go of your desire to join the clean-plate club. In fact, when you’re eating out you should make it a goal to leave some food on your plate. You can always take the leftovers home and enjoy them again tomorrow.