Joe Average has lost over 50 pounds in the past four months, and one of the main ways he did it was to cut portion size. It is amazing how we all distort (underestimate) the amount of food we eat in a “serving.” To really get a feel (with good visuals) of your own tendency to do this, check out the Portion Distortion site right now! Here is a bit more about portion size in an excerpt from Weight Management for Your Life:
Much research supports the fact that portion size is a major determinant of how much we eat. For example, Brian Wansink, Professor of Marketing and of Applied Economics at Cornell University, conducted several studies which showed that:
• Moviegoers ate 45% more popcorn when served in a large tub compared to a medium sized container.
• People watching a movie ate twice as much M&Ms from a large bag compared to a small bag.
• In neither of the above studies were the research subjects able to guess the number of calories they had consumed; people consistently underestimate the amount they eat.
• While people tend to acknowledge that portion size and container size may influence other people, they often wrongly believe they themselves are unaffected.
We all suffer from “portion distortion” when we estimate the amount of food we consume, not only at mealtime, but when we snack and eat without being mindful (automatic eating). To see whether you have this problem, check out the Portion Distortion Quiz on the Internet (http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/ portion/).