Portion Distortion

We have all heard, and seen, that portion sizes in American restaurants have grown over the past several decades.  Fast food servings are two to five times larger than when they were first introduced.  Over the last few decades, a more subtle change has been taking place that has led to increased portion sizes at home as well.

Since the 1960’s, American dinner plate sizes have grown 30%.  Fifty years ago, the average plate was 8.5 inches in diameter.  Today, dinner plates are typically a foot in diameter! Since we tend to eat with our eyes, not our stomachs, this means that Americans are eating about 30% more food at every meal without even realizing it.

Try eating meals using smaller salad plates, soup bowls, and teaspoons to get the opposite effect on your calorie intake. The same goes for drinks, except water.  Allow yourself to eat as much as you need to feel satisfied.  It will likely be less than when you ate off of larger plates.  You won’t even notice that you’re eating less, but over time this change can lead to noticeable weight loss.


About Janet Fontana

Janet provides practical methods to incorporate stress management techniques into active lives. For thirteen years, she worked as a registered nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. When diagnosed with an allergy to latex and asthma, she took positive action, finding tools for improving her own well-being through yoga, meditation, exercise, and nutrition. Janet pursued a master’s degree in health education and integrative health practices at Vermont College. She is trained in mind-body medicine and positive psychology through program sponsored by the Mind Body Medical Institute and Harvard Medical School. Inspired by the benefits she gained from her personal practice of yoga and meditation, Janet became certified as a yoga and meditation teacher. She is also a certified clinical hypnotherapist. In 2001, Janet founded Spectrum LifeWorks, a company that provides nursing continuing education conferences specializing in mind-body-spirit wellness. She is also the creator of “Pillow Talk,” a drug-free insomnia relief program. Janet is a popular presenter who has delvered programs for hundreds of groups and has helped thousands of individuals reduce their levels of stress and optimize their health. People appreciate her relaxed, conversational style and real life approach to living with less stress and more happiness. Janet is married and the mother of three children. Her son, Nick recently married and her two daughters, Lindsey and Stephanie are college students. She is adjusting to the “empty nest” and enjoying more freedom to travel, spend time with her husband, family, and friends and pursue new learning and professional ventures.
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2 Responses to Portion Distortion

  1. Cindel says:

    That is so true! I feel like portion sizes are out of control. Often when I’m eating at a restaurant I divide my meal in half right away, and ask for a box. That way I know I’m eating the right amount of food for me, plus I get to enjoy yummy leftovers for lunch the next day.

  2. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Does anyone else have any other clever tips that you use?

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