Have you noticed that the recommended portion sizes of average meals seem to be increasing in recent times? If so, you are not alone and this is not a figment of your imagination. Studies have shown that the size of the average entree has increased by more than 13 grams over the past ten years. Perhaps more disturbingly, desserts have grown by as much as 24 grams during this same time period.
What are some of the main reasons behind this trend? Does the phrase “normal portion size” even hold any relevance in this day and age? Is there any portion size that is ideal if you are hoping to lose weight? Let’s delve into each of these questions below.
Why are Recommended Portion Sizes on the Rise?
Simply stated, the main reason behind this trend involves the appetite of the average consumer. As customers now demand more food for their money, it only stands to reason that manufacturers and distributors are happy to oblige.
Another factor involves marketing. Most shoppers take the notion of value very seriously. These larger portion sizes will make them feel as if they are taking advantage of a beneficial deal. The fact of the matter is that such a belief system is one of the main contributing factors to the current obesity epidemic that the majority of the western world is currently experiencing.
Is There an Ideal Portion Size? A food portion guide
This question is highly subjective in nature. The amount of food that you require to remain healthy depends on a host of factors. Some of these include age, gender, activity level, and your ultimate goals. However, most experts agree that the “ideal portion size should roughly equate to the size of your clenched fist. This applies to fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and grains.
The only potential issue here is that the size of the portion must also be determined by its contents. For example, one reasonably sized portion of peas will contain fewer calories than a similarly sized volume of ice cream. This is why portion sizes are often calculated in order to address personal concerns. This also brings us to the next main section of our article.
How to Calculate Portion Sizes
The main takeaway point here is that portion sizes should be based around the amount of calories you plan on consuming throughout the day. Of course, the main goal is to consume fewer calories than your body burns. This results in weight loss over time. One powerful method is to employ an online portion calculator. After you provide basic physical details, it will determine the optimal number of calories that you should consume. These can then be used to determine the sizes of the portions themselves.
Another common strategy is known as the “plate method”. In this case, you will divide an average-sized plate into specific areas:
- One half of the plate will be filled with vegetables.
- One quarter will be devoted to lean meat or fish.
- The remaining quarter represents sources of complex carbs such as whole grains.
This is arguably the easiest approach, as you are provided with a handy visual aid. In terms of the size of the plate itself, a diameter of 25 centimeters (ten inches) tends to be recommended by portion control experts.
Should You Consume Two or Three Meals a Day?
Some individuals will try to control their portions by eating only two meals each day. The problem here is that fasting in between meals can often result in a ravenous appetite. In other words, these very same individuals are likely to consume more calories than are required when they finally have access to a meal.
It is instead better to consume a standard three meals each day. You might even choose to eat five smaller portions on a more frequent basis. This is a powerful way to control cravings that might otherwise lead to bad habits and the consumption of empty calories
Smaller Portions for Noticeable Results
Although portion sizes are indeed increasing, you are not forced to follow such unhealthy trend. Embracing a balanced diet while leveraging the calorie-cutting advantages of the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon will certainly yield positive results over time.
Even if recommended portion sizes grow even further, you can rest assured in the fact that your waistline will remain the same.