Super Sized America

In a society where “more is always better”: more money, more friends, more fun, and more food; we are often surrounded by excess. However, with over one-third of the U.S. adult population classified as obese, the “more is better” concept has proven otherwise for the waistline.

Portion sizes have continued to increase and the vision of normal has become distorted. The graphic below illustrates the size of an average restaurant meal today, which is more than four times larger than in the 1950’s.

With portions on the rise along with mindless eating habits developing, here are some simple tips to lose those unwanted pounds:

Plan Ahead: Take time to plan meals and snacks before going to the store to avoid seeking fast food.

Monitor Intake: Use paper logs or smart phone Apps, such as MyFitnessPal, to log daily food and beverage intake to hold yourself accountable to your goals.

Watch Portion Sizes: Re-package bulk items such as pretzels, nuts, and trail mix into snack size baggies to prevent mindless eating.

Think Small: When at restaurants order smaller items, share meals with a friend, and avoid super-sizing for calorie control.

Pack a Lunch: Instead of eating out for lunch, pack your own to monitor added oils, salt, and calories. This can save both money and your waistline.

Make Healthy Foods Convenient: Keep cut up fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy, and whole grain foods available for a quick and easy snacks when on the go.

Visual Cues: Use a smaller dinner plate instead of a larger one at mealtimes to help feel more satisfied with reduced portions.

Slow Down: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that your body is receiving food so slow down and stop eating before you feel stuffed.

By: Meghan Windham, MPH, RD, LD

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