Unfortunately, our ‘bargain-hunting’ hard-wiring seeks out large portions in restaurants, in a vain quest for the ‘most for my money.’ You’ve heard of ‘win-win.’ Well this is ‘win-lose.’ Getting too much food can be costly to our health not to mention our waistline, despite appearing to be a financial bargain.
The more successful you are at finding an eating place with huge portions, the more difficulty you will have keeping control of your weight and waistline. We all need to rethink the situation. Pigging out at a low price doesn’t make our trip to dine out a success. We need to start thinking in terms of the nutritional quality of our food not just the quantity.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much help on the horizon. In a supplement to the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter had some fascinating insights on the view from the other side of the counter. How do chefs see it?
The letter reported that in a survey of 300 chefs by Clemson University researchers, published in the journal Obesity revealed that chefs’ ideas about portion sizes were far removed from the recommendations of nutrition experts. Asked to estimate the size of a typical portion of pasta they might serve, half the chefs responded with amounts six to eight times the standard suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Additionally, nearly half reported that they regularly serve 12 ounce steaks, more than double the amount of meat recommended for an entire day the USDA Choose My Plate.
If the folks fixing the food haven’t a clue about the importance of portion sizes, then we on the other side of the counter need to be vigilant. Actions have consequences. Not paying attention to portion sizes can have weighty results, not the good kind.
Eat less; move more; live longer. Words to live by.