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The bigger the better is a myth; here’s why

Republished from Nifty Nutrition, February 22, 2023.

When you go to a restaurant what do you look for? The saying, “the bigger the portion, the lesser the quality is often true.” Sometimes all we want is a big carb-loaded meal to make our day better, but our bodies never feel better after indulging in this.

The restaurant industry makes billions of dollars every year, and fast food is the main cause. McDonald’s, for example, increased its revenue due to their large portion sizes for seemingly affordable prices. This fast-food chain was first created as a barbeque grill, but its food was actually not cooked super quickly and the chain put time and effort into their burgers. Due to its profits increase they revamped and focused on consistency and speed, not taste or quality.

Fast foods are not the only industry that have made a profit off increased portion sizes. Frozen foods, cookbooks and our culture have encouraged eating more food. The average calories consumed by Americans per day is 3,600 but the recommended amount is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

This may seem like a problem that would be hard to combat, especially when you can’t ask a restaurant to make less food. A great tip is to ask for a box right when you get your food so that you only eat half.

If you mainly cook at home, check the portion size on the recipe and be conscious of how hungry you are. Most restaurants have a calorie description beside each dish, and if they don’t, you can ask for one.  Remember, though, that eating should come from a place of joy, so if you find yourself focusing on the calories, don’t look at them.

This might be counterintuitive to what I just said, but you know yourself the best, so if looking at calories helps you to be more conscious, then it can be a great tool.

Check with your doctor first before you make any decisions on how many calories you should consume. Knowing your body type can help you make informed decisions as well. What are your restaurant hacks?