Feature Archive

Portion Distortion

  1. Eat portions the size of a small fist.
  2. Watch out for inflation.
  3. Snack before dinner.
  4. Split the entree.
  5. Think small.
  6. Don't serve from the table.
  7. Beware of eating in front of the TV.

By R. Morgan Griffin
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD

Are you eating more than you think you're eating?

Thanks to inflated portion sizes, you probably are. It's all too easy to lose track of normal portion sizes when you're dining off of giant plates while chatting with family and friends. You just eat whatever is put in front of you, and only notice the effects later when your pants stoutly refuse to button.

"Portion distortion is a problem," says nutritionist Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, the "Recipe Doctor" at the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. "It's one piece of the obesity problem in the U.S."

Despite all of the publicity -- one fast-food restaurant is even phasing out supersized meals -- these days, most of us would hardly recognize a normal portion. So often we split a pint of ice cream three ways and congratulate ourselves because we didn't eat the whole thing!