Almost everyone when they hear the phrase “bad diet” imagines super sized McDonalds meals, greasy fried foods, and potato chips. The part we tend to over look is how much VOLUME of food we eat. Everyone knows that the health of our country is headed in a negative direction. Don’t be confused- I don’t mean to say that our inches or pounds are decreasing; rather our energy levels, physical activity, and overall quality of life are diminishing every single day. Many wonder why and think it’s because of the sedentary nature of our society today. Absolutely- this is a major contributor. On the other hand, there is the issue of diet. Diet is more than just WHAT we eat, it is HOW MUCH we eat. You can’t out train a bad diet and a bad diet can be eating non-nutritious food as well as too many “healthy” foods. A calorie is still a calorie and consuming more than you expend will result in wait gain.
As time goes by, we as the consumer have been confronted with a multitude of new portion sizes, as producers want us to have “options.” This did not happen over night, but has gradually phased in under our radar and we have gone for the bait hook, line, and sinker.
You don’t have to be a fitness guru to see that the country’s waistline has dramatically been increasing, and especially in the last decade. How interesting it is that portion sizes have ballooned up as well. For just ten cents more, I could get double the amount of pop? Heck yeah! Every day we are bombarded with choices of how much we would like to consume. Research shows that when confronted with larger food option most people cave and get them. It is easy to make mistakes on serving sizes when eating out and nutrition facts are not easy to get a hold of at most places. A couple decades ago there was no such thing as Venti, super size, or Big Gulp. Coffee came in a standard 8 oz cup, popcorn was served in a standard size bag, and bottle beverages we served in 12 oz cans. These sizes have been majorly distorted today. Restaurants offer increased sizes on everything, but most entrées have large enough portions for two people. I mean, who truly needs a whole pound of hamburger?
Not only is there portion distortion outside of the home, but inside as well. Food products are being cleverly advertised/marketed today and it is easy to have to wool pulled over your eyes. The majority of snacks and easy to make meals appear to be a certain amount of servings and calories per serving, but nothing should be assumed. One granola bar company for has healthy snack granola bars for on the go and only 100 calories per serving, but they were packaged with 2 servings (2 bars). This is deceiving and often we don’t look because it appears they are one serving and just eat them both. Things that we think are one serving and eat in one setting are often not. How often do you buy a Gatorade or other bottled beverage and not drink the whole thing in one setting? Those bottles, you would assume, are one serving, but actually contain 2.5 or even more. Snacks say low fat based on the serving, but one serving is a very small amount and be honest we all munch a little too much.
Over eating is a habit that is so easy to fall into these days. I see this being a major sink whole deterring many of us from achieving our goals and I just want to warn you to be diligent, figure our your portion sizes and use them. Stick to your game plan if you have one and lets not get caught in the trap.
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