The Portion Debate and Weight Loss in Charlotte, Matthews or WaxhawTo lose weight, you’ll need to do more than just change what you are eating. How much you are eating plays a huge role in your overall calorie consumption, and portion sizes in our country are out of control.

You can’t walk into any restaurant without encountering problematic portion sizes. From fast food joints to five-star eateries, chefs are dishing up oversized cuts of meat, heaping helpings of side dishes and excessive amounts of soda to wash them down with. Oversized portions have become so normal that many people don’t think twice when ordering a 12-ounce steak or a burger with a full pound of meat on it.

When you start your medical weight loss* diet you will make changes to what you are eating. You’ll be swapping out fatty and sugary foods for healthy items like fruits and vegetables, and these are changes you were probably expecting. What sometimes takes people by surprise is the cut in how much you are eating.

Want to know how much you should be eating? Here is how big a portion should be:

  • Your serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards. This goes for steak, pork chops, chicken and fish.
  • A serving of fruit or veggies should be the size of your clenched fist.
  • A bagel is the size of a hockey puck, NOT a Frisbee.
  • One serving of cheese should be the size of one pair of dice (two cubes). If you are eating melted or grated cheese and it’s hard to picture cubes, limit your consumption to about the size of your thumb.
  • A pancake is the size of a DVD (again, NOT a Frisbee!)
  • One serving of chips or other processed snacks should fit in the palm of your hand.

Reading nutrition labels can give you more insight on proper portion sizes. Pay close attention to the serving size listed at the top of the nutrition label, as well as the calorie count per serving.

When you head out to eat, cut your portions down by asking for a to-go box right away. Then, put half of your meal in the box to eat later and just enjoy the first half. By packing it up for later you are preventing yourself from overindulging—and you get a second meal out of your purchase!

*Disclaimer: Medical weight loss programs are individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient. Individual results vary.