Friday, December 24, 2010

Portion Control (Who Can Resist It)

20 Yrs Ago
 2 Slices = 500 Calories
Today 850 Calories

Portion control. It sounds like an easy concept, but what I have come to find out is most don’t really understand what a portion is, or what it should look like. And I bet if you were to go to a restaurant that actually gave you true portions, you would leave that place, hungry and upset saying “boy the portions were small!”. It is not that the portions are small, but more that we as a society have gotten accustomed to portions that have been blown way out of proportion!

 You would be hard pressed to find any place that does not feed us in excess.
 Not sure when this happened, but what I do know is that the obesity rate continues to rise, heart disease and diabetes is running rampant and childhood obesity is nearly an epidemic. Now, the reason I bring this up is that I very rarely frequent fast food places, but recently my family went away for the weekend and I was left to fend for my own meals. 

So I decided to go to a local pizzeria and order a small calzone. Now I know you may be thinking, “Frank you are a personal trainer... what are you doing eating that?” Well, I am human, and every once in a while I run with scissors and get something that may not be the best thing for me! So anyway, after about 20 minutes the waitress came with my meal and, much to my surprise, she placed in front of me a monster calzone! I could not believe the size of it! This thing could have fed my entire family! Well, I dug right in and before I knew it, I found myself halfway through the meal and it hit me...I was full but I had not stopped eating.I felt full but kept eating more. Not because I was hungry, but because it was there.
 And then the light bulb went on. I realized at that moment  that this is what most people do.They finish it just because it’s there. We have simply become so accustomed to these jumbo size meals, that when we sit down to eat, we just go on auto pilot and keep eating until it’s all gone. So, I want to give you a simple tip. The next time you find yourself in a fast food place. Stay away from those wasteful calories found in soft drinks.

Order yourself water instead and a fresh side salad to accompany your meal. Try to finish your water and your salad first, then ask the waiter  for a ‘to-go’ container and split your meal in half. Or make the portions the size of the palm of your hand and take the rest home for another days meal. 
Remember, your portion should be the size of your fist. Now, you might say “well, I have small hands”. Well, that may be true but remember... we are eating to sustain ourselves, not stuff ourselves!  

In closing, portion control should be 
thought of as controlled discipline, because that is what it will take if you plan to eat out on a frequent basis. Here are what your portions SHOULD look like: Now Bon Appetit.

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