Restaurant Portions Getting Bigger

Many of your members may have trouble losing weight because they eat out in restaurants too often. Americans are beginning to eat out more than ever, averaging four to five times a week, because dining out has become more convenient and affordable. Restaurants are responding to the demand for meals at an affordable price by giving customers larger portions, usually two to three times larger than servings recommended by the American Diabetic Association. While the bigger portions are more affordable, many Americans have trouble controlling food intake, and often eat everything on their plates. Increased food intake results in an excess of calories and fat, which eventually leads to an increase in weight.

How do you help your members control their weight and allow them to eat out? First, advise members that eating out is considered to be a luxury and dining in restaurants should be limited.

When eating out, members should eat only half of the meal at the restaurant and bring the other half home to eat at another meal time. Also, members should eat their meals slowly and drink water frequently since it takes the brain 20 minutes to realize the body has had enough food.

Finally, following are some examples of the proper food portions that your members should be eating:

One serving of cooked meat, fish or poultry should be about the size of a deck of cards.
One pancake should look like the size of a CD.
One baked potato should equal the size of a computer mouse.
One apple or orange should resemble the size of a baseball.
One teaspoon of margarine or butter is about the size of a thumb tip.

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