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!!


Pounds in a Pill…Your Medicine Cabinet & Weight Gain

There are many factors that contribute to excessive weight gain and the development of obesity, such as, behavioral influences, physiological, environmental and psychological factors, but there is yet another factor to America’s incessant weight-gain epidemic that until recently has flown under the weight-gain radar virtually unnoticed.

What is this mysterious attributing factor? …Prescription medications

While most Americans today are aware of the lifestyle and dietary habits that cause weight gain, the majority overlook the possibility that excess weight gain can originate in their medicine cabinet.

The pills millions of people take every day for diabetes, clinical depression, psychotic disorders, high blood pressure, and other illnesses or conditions have been proven to pack on the pounds… sometimes up to one pound each week on those who are naively using these medications to treat an illness or ailment. The irony is that many of these drugs are the ones that have been prescribed to them to treat a condition that resulted from unwarranted weight gain.

Medicinal weight gain was first recognized in the mid-nineties when Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin, director of the weight management center at Johns Hopkins University, and his associates recognized that many patients being treated at the center for obesity, actually gained weight –in large amounts- after starting antipsychotics, antidepressants and other prescription drugs.

One 42-year-old woman, for instance, gained 42 pounds after taking lithium, a drug for mood swings and a 36-year-old supermarket worker gained 240 pounds while taking prednisone, a steroid drug.

What most people don’t realize is that weight gain is among the side effects listed on official information sheets for some of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States. They include drugs taken by tens of millions of people for diabetes, clinical depression, high blood pressure, gastric reflux and heartburn, and serious mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Among them are top-selling medications like:

  • Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil (anti-depressants)
  • Nexium and Prevacid (heartburn medications)
  • Clozaril and Zypexa (used to treat serious mental disorders)
  • Glucotrol, Diabeta, and Diabinese (used to treat diabetes)
  • Minipress, Cardura, and Indera (high blood pressure drugs)

Non-prescription medications have been shown to cause weight gain as well. The antihistamine, diphenhydramine for instance, is an ingredient in dozens of popular cold and allergy remedies that has been proven to contribute to excessive weight gain in those using it to alleviate an ailment.

This is a concern which everyone must take notice of regardless of current health and bodyweight, as American physicians are currently writing an average of 12 prescriptions each year for every person in the country. Although this is a concern in which we must recognize, it has not yet been determined just how much these medicines contribute to the society-wide overweight and obesity epidemic.

The Prescription Paradox 

It’s no secret that obesity significantly increases your risks of developing an assortment of medical problems. Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and insulin resistance are just a few that are augmented with excessive weight gain. The paradox is that certain drugs prescribed to treat a medical condition or ailment caused by excess weight gain, can simultaneously contribute to weight gain. For example, in a conflict of interest, overweight and obese individuals with type II diabetes -resulting from dietary and lifestyle habits- are prescribed insulin-stimulating drugs. While these drugs help control their condition they also promote the addition of unwanted weight gain.

About 1 million people with type I diabetes take insulin injections as do some of the 15 million with type II diabetes. Until the 1990s, diabetics almost always took just one insulin shot a day. Then, a landmark clinical trial showed that multiple injections each day did a better job of controlling the disease’s complications, such as high risk of heart attacks, vision loss, and other serious health problems. While this proved to control diabetes, the patients on intensive insulin therapy gained an average of 10.5 pounds more than those taking one insulin shot each day.

No Warning

Consumers who would never suspect looking in their medicine cabinet for the cause of their weight gain have few sources of information. Package inserts (which include the official description of a drug’s side effects) usually give weight gain little attention, including those for widely used weight-gain medicines like antidepressants.

About 19 million adults and 11 million children in the United States take drugs for clinical depression. Long-term use of certain antidepressants will cause weight gain, yet package inserts for Paxil, an anti-depressant linked to some of the biggest weight gains ever

recorded, contributes only 3 words: “Frequent Weight gain”. There is no hint that 1 in 4 patients add at least 7% to their body weight (about 9lbs for a 130lbs person) with this single medication. Some report much larger gains reaching the double-digit range.

Package inserts for the four other top-selling anti-depressants — Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Luvox — use the same approach, stating little about the amount of weight that patients may gain.

Although certain medications will promote unexpected weight gain this is not necessarily considered as a reason not to use a medication. If you’re currently using a drug that has been shown to cause weight gain, do not suddenly stop taking your prescription. Abruptly discontinuing a medication can compromise your health and cause serious ramifications. Certain medications are needed to treat urgent health problems, ones that are far more dangerous than gaining a few extra pounds. Rather than stop taking a medication, consult with your doctor. Changes in lifestyle habits, rather than medications, may be all that is needed to promote optimal health and control bodyweight. At Success Meals KC we often see clients turn their health around as they’re able to eliminate prescriptions that were once needed.

The Success Meals team is here to support you and providing healthy meal delivery to Kansas City is our specialty, which is why we are Kansas City’s #1 weight loss meal delivery service and customized healthy meal delivery service!

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

Experiencing your sample day from Success Meals is your first step to enjoying customized, delicious meals delivered to your door! Or you can call us today at 913-894-6325… we know you want to have a healthy body and that starts by eating healthy meals. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals of good health!!