Choose Between WAIST and WASTE

APPROPRIATE PORTION SIZES with Healthy Chef Prepared Meals Delivered


We live in a giant, economy-sized world where we have all been conditioned from an early age to believe that more is better.  Super-size packaging has caught on everywhere, from the supermarket to the convenience store.  Consumers expect large portions and believe they’re not getting their money’s worth unless they get the largest size for the lowest price.  While this may appear to be good for your pocketbook, it is a disaster for those of us who are trying to watch what we eat!!

When we buy the family-sized package just for ourselves, we often have to choose between WASTE and WAIST!  Having an excess amount of food in the house tends to influence us to eat more than we need rather than let it go to waste or go stale.  We have succumbed to the “big gulp” mentality and we let our portion size selection be determined by perceived value rather than common sense and good health.

Some restaurants now feature…

  • 16-ounce steaks (one whole pound)
  • Portions of prime rib that start at 12-ounce servings
  • Hamburgers that contain a half-pound of ground meat

However, the USDA says a serving of meat is a 3-ounce cooked portion.  YIKES!!

Most popular diet books that give the number of calories per food portions use the USDA’s recommended size per serving.  But, most Americans eat portions that are much greater than these recommended amounts.  In random surveys, Americans almost always underestimate the quantity of food they have consumed.

Knowing how cooking affects the volume of food can help you determine the amount to cook in the first place.  If you cook and serve the appropriate amount of food, you will be much less likely to overeat.  To determine an appropriate portion size for meat, start with the weight on the package.  If you buy a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that weighs 1 pound, you know that it is 16 ounces.  Sixteen ounces of raw meat will shrink approximately 25% when you cook it, which gives you 12 ounces of cooked chicken.  If you are serving the recommended 3-ounce portion, then you have enough for four servings in a 1-pound package of raw chicken.

Here’s another example: If you are cooking for two, serving rice for dinner and wish to serve the recommended 1/2 cup to each person, then start with 1/3 cup of uncooked rice.  Since rice triples in volume when you cook it, 1/3 cup of raw rice will give you 1 cup (or two 1/2 cup servings) of cooked rice.

There are a lot of common household items that you can use to estimate serving size; learning how to do this is especially useful when eating away from home. Below are some examples:

3 oz. of cooked meat or poultry | Size of a deck of cards

1/2 cup cooked rice | Size of a tennis ball

1 medium potato | Size of a computer mouse

1 oz. of cheese | Size of 4 stacked dice



Food portion sizes have been increasing for over 30 years. In the 1950s, a “family size” bottle of Coke was 26 ounces; today a single-serve bottle is 20 ounces.  McDonald’s original hamburger, fries, and 12-ounce Coke provided 590 calories.  Today, when you order a super-sized “Extra Value Meal” including a Quarter Pounder with cheese, super-sized fries, and a super-sized Coke it delivers a whopping 1,550 calories.  A typical bagel used to weigh 2 to 3 ounces, compared to 4 to 7 ounces today.

While portion sizes started to increase in the 1970s, they spiked sharply in the 1980s and have continued to increase ever since. Not surprisingly this trend has occurred in parallel with increases in overall calorie intake, the prevalence of obesity and the diabetes epidemic.

Although portion sizes and obesity rates have grown rapidly, larger food portions are not solely responsible for America’s obesity epidemic.  Many factors influence body weight; however, it is excess energy intake (i.e. consuming too many calories) that “out-weighs” all other causes.  According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), between 1978 – 1995, our average daily caloric intake increased from 1,876 kcal to 2,043 kcal.  This 167 calorie-per-day equates to an extra 17 pounds of body fat every year!!

Test Your Portion Size IQ

Do you know what a serving should look like?

Twenty years ago, an average meal at a fast-food restaurant consisted of a small burger, a couple handfuls of fries, and an 8-ounce soda.  Today, your order may include a double or triple hamburger with cheese, “supersized” fries, and a 20-ounce soda.  Portion sizes at home have increased as well.

Of course, what we eat also matters to our health.

Eating too many vegetables is NOT the reason Americans are faced with an obesity crisis.  Experts say that our preferences for calorie-dense foods, as well as our tendency to get too little exercise contribute to our expanding waistlines. But out-of-control portions are no doubt a factor!!

Do you need to retrain your healthy eating habits and brain to recognize a healthy portion size??  If so, Success Meals KC would love the opportunity to work WITH you to UN-Super-Size your meals!!  Healthy meal delivery in Kansas City is our specialty, which is why Success Meals is Kansas City’s #1 diet meal delivery service!

If you would like to try Success Meals KC healthy meal delivery, sign up for our Free Trial Offer.

Experiencing your sample day from Success Meals is your first step to enjoying healthy portion-sized, delicious meals delivered to your door!  Or call us today at 913-894-6325… we look forward to working with you to take the guess work out of healthy portion sizes!!