These days, we as consumers have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, but many of those eateries are known for providing extremely large portions. This only contributes to America’s growing waistband.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2006 survey said 67 percent of non-institutionalized adults ages 20 and over are overweight or obese.
Demographics play into this number, and Colorado has the lowest obesity rate at 18.7 percent as of 2007, compared to Mississippi and Alabama at more than 30 percent. Although Colorado tops the charts with the lowest obesity rate, it doesn’t mean we should stop working to keep those numbers low.
Portions may be one of the hardest things to judge. MyPyramid, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has paired portion sizes with everyday objects so you can better determine how much you are eating.
A baseball equals one cup and a tennis ball is 2/3 of a cup of fruit or vegetables. A golf ball equals 2 tablespoons of salad dressing or peanut butter and a deck of cards is the same size as 3 ounces of red meat, chicken or fish. Four dice is the same size as one ounce of cheese. Use these visual portion comparisons to keep from over-indulging.
On a 2,000 calorie diet, you need 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. You also need 5 ½ ounces of meat and beans, 6 ounces of grains – 1 slice of bread is one ounce — and 3 cups of milk or 1 ounce of cheese.
Eating at home makes portioning your food easy, but you can use these tips at a restaurant to eat a healthy amount.