The Smaller, the Better

The bigger the better! Right? That is what the American culture stands for.  A bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger yard has to be better. Haven’t you wondered why Americans are still gaining weight when there is so much information about good nutrition available to us? Well, take a look at your plate the next time you go to a restaurant. How many portions do you see?  Have you tried to buy a small candy bar only to realize your only choice was the King Size?  It is not the hamburger that is killing us, but the amount that we eat. You are not imagining things.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the size of commonly purchased foods and drinks has dramatically increased over the past 20 years. Take a look at the average purchase:                                20 Years ago                                                               Today

Bagel               3” in diameter, 140 calories                            6” in diameter, 350 calories

Hamburger      333 calories                                                     590 calories

Soda                6.5 oz, 85 calories                                           20 oz, 250 calories

Coffee             8oz w/ whole milk +sugar                               Mocha w/ whole milk+ syrup

                             85 calories                                                       350 calories

Shocking statistics to think about the next time you go out with friends for dinner or have a coffee night.

I was amazed just this past weekend at a local restaurant to see the two kids meals I ordered could have been split between a table of four.  I was pleased when my daughter said half way through, ”I’m full, can I get a “to-go” box.” Of course right now she thinks that it is cool to ask the waiter for a “to-go” box. But I think more of us need to adapt that “cool” philosophy.  I know many times, we think that it is better to just go ahead and eat all of it now, because we will do better tomorrow.  However, dispersing those calories over two, or even three, meals would help control our weight better than eating all of it at one time. Chances are the leftovers will be forgotten and eventually thrown away.

So what are we to do with a world who wants to give us more?

The first thing that we have to do is to actually learn what is in a serving size.  We read the labels that tell us how many calories are in a serving, but what do they look like.  I encourage you to measure your food for a day to see if you are eating the recommendations of a serving size.  For example, 1 cup = size of medium fist: serving of meat = medium-size palm. Begin your meal with the appropriate serving.  There is plenty of research showing that the larger the portion served, the more a person will eat. If it is there, it is too tempting to eat it all.

The following tips will help you stay in control of your portion size:

  • Eat on a smaller plate
  • Ask for a to-go box before your food is served and split it immediately
  • Split a meal with a friend
  • Slow down when you eat and concentrate on your conversation
  • Take a break half way through your meal and evaluate your level of fullness

When I think about portion control, I am reminded of the scripture in Lamentations 3:24.

Just as we do not need to worry about “the cares of this world” because the Lord is our portion;

likewise, take the only portion in regard to food that we need and no more.

To learn more about how to lose and manage your weight with your own personal Wellness Coach, go to and for more information or to receive a free consultation contact me at or 409-550-7606.