Portion size is an extremely gray area in America these days. But understanding how much food you should eat as a human is the vitally important second step to overall health. The first step is understanding what kinds of food to eat: natural foods that grow on or live on the Earth. This is an easy thing to remember as you make food choices, but much more difficult is knowing how much of these foods we should eat during a meal. It is ridiculously important that we enjoy what we eat, and that we look forward to eating, but this excitement can lead to over-zealous inhalation and decreased awareness of the amount of food being consumed (not to mention our inflated sense of serving size being instilled in our culture by restaurant chains).
The human stomach has an average capacity of about 1 quart. That’s approximately 4 cups, or 32 ounces. But many of the meals we order at certain restaurants will exceed this capacity measurement. In fact, the average meal at your friendly “neighborhood grill” is 2-4 times bigger than the recommended serving. Check the labels on your favorite soups and beverages, also. Many times you’ll find that a can of your “reduced-fat chicken noodle” soup or a bottle of your beloved “vitamin-infused agua” is 2 or more servings. So, make you sure you double the calories and grams of sugar included therein also, for those of you who are counting.
Stick to single servings to reduce your waistline. It may be difficult at first, but your stomach will adjust, like a goldfish in a bowl. The more food you ingest in one sitting, the farther your stomach will stretch (yes, it can stretch). In fact, one problem that can occur after gastric bypass is the re-expansion of a stapled stomach, negating the whole procedure. But we can gain control of our weight without surgery by allowing our stomachs to re-acclimate themselves to natural human serving sizes.
So, how do we save ourselves from a world that wants to fool us into consuming far more than our fair share? Try these helpful tips when you are divvying out the portions:
- Check the label! While it may be in one can, it could be more than 1 serving.
- A recommended serving size of meat is 3-4 ounces, depending on gender. A good basis for comparison is the palm of your hand or a deck of cards.
- A recommended serving size of fruits or vegetables is ½ cup. About the size of a tennis ball.