Food Portions: The #1 Factor That Makes You Fat

One phrase that has been neglected in the American food industry is “portion control.” The fast food industry has been very influential in this factor. Over the past decade there has been an increase in the sizes of the soft drinks, French fries, as well as the sandwiches at fast food restaurants. The popularity of “super-sized” food has spilled over into the marketing of other food such as potato chips, bottled soft drinks, and candy bars. These large portions also influence the way that food is portioned when meals are cooked at home.

When considering portion sizes, many people believe they are getting a better value for their money, but what they do not consider is the taxing effect that eating larger portions has on their bodies.

Ever notice how you feel after you eat a large meal, perhaps at a holiday celebration or on a day when you were feeling famished so you overate?

Well, with the huge portions found at fast food restaurants and often on the dinner plates at people’s homes, this feeling is probably occurring regularly. The physical discomfort felt is a sign that the body and organs are distressed. The liver cannot work efficiently when there is too much food to digest and therefore some of the food is not properly digested when it enters the intestines.

If the food is not digested properly and builds up in the digestive system it may lead to problems. Overeating over long periods of time may cause the body to be susceptible to diseases and decreases the functionality of the body’s natural digestive system. Not to mention the weight gain that is caused from eating huge portions of food during meals and snacks.

These hefty sizes have not always been the norm…

On average, the size of the meals found at fast food restaurants is four times larger than it was in the 1950s. The sizes today are at least double of what they were twenty years ago. Five cups of popcorn at the movie theater used to be considered large but that has increased to eleven cups in the large portion today. One bagel today is three times the size of what a bagel was twenty years ago.

Fast food portions have increased by three to five times of what they were in the past. This increase in portion size is a growing trend that needs not be ignored because it has already gotten out of control. As food portions have increased over time, the amount of overweight or obese people in America has also increased.

“American size” is the name that the Japanese have given to the extra-large portions that are most commonly seen in America. The portion size of food in America is generally double the size of the same food in other countries. For example, a quesadilla in Mexico is traditionally made with a 5-inch tortilla, but in America the tortillas are typically 10-inches. The amount of chicken and cheese in the quesadilla is also doubled.

The other countries around the world may eventually follow suit with their portion sizes, at least to a certain extent. People in other countries tend to see America as the trendsetter nation and what is available in America often becomes popular in other places. Yet, these other countries also seem to understand that these portions are unhealthy and perhaps they will continue eating the traditional smaller portions.

Many countries also appreciate the value of food and do not want to be wasteful by overeating and therefore the portions are consistently smaller. An exception is when people of other countries move to America. Studies have shown that foreign people moving to America gain a significant amount of weight within very small periods of time after they move to the USA.

One of the reasons people buy larger portions is the perceived value of the smaller amount of money spent on the larger amount of food. Yet, there is a problem with this logic. Since the digestive system of humans is not made to function with these large portions, it will malfunction if forced to eat like this over a long period of time.

Therefore, there will be a necessary increase of the amount of money spent on medical issues and healthcare that could have been prevented through not overeating. This faulty logic needs to be considered when fast food companies advertise “two-for-one” or “fifty percent extra” for hamburgers and sodas.

Unfortunately, when it comes to large portions for smaller prices, it’s typically junk food and not healthy food. This also gives the perception that there is a greater value in purchasing unhealthy food in larger amounts, which is false once again. If the money spent on unhealthy food was spent on organic fruits and vegetables, there would potentially be a large decrease in the obesity epidemic and people would have healthier bodies overall.

What can you do?

There are many ways that eating smaller, healthier portions can be maintained. One way of doing this is to order an appetizer instead of a large meal at a restaurant. Or split a meal with another person instead of eating the whole portion. These are simple changes that can make a huge difference in the amount of food eaten during one meal. Another great way to decrease the amount of food you eat is to cook for yourself. You have control over the amount you put on your plate and you can also cook less so that you are not tempted to overeat.

If you cook smaller portions and begin to eat less food, over time you will start to save money which you can use to purchase healthier food. It is also possible to find two-for-one deals on healthy foods. Yet, it may require effort to find these deals as they are not as prevalent as the same deal on junk food. Buying healthy food in bulk is often easy to do online and knowing that you have healthy food at home may decrease the temptation of eating huge portions of food at restaurants.

With the popularity of fast food in America and the steady increase of portion sizes, it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Yet, the benefit of doing so far outweighs the difficulty of the challenge. Eating smaller portions and eating healthier food gives people a more vital life and does not cause weight gain. Therefore, it is important to continue to strive for these healthy goals and eating habits even in the face of so much temptation.

>> Watch the 4 Foods to Never Eat For Breakfast

About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

Which wonderful friends in your life would appreciate this information about food portion? Are they consciously eating bigger portion than what they should eat?

Please help them by sharing this eye-opening article with each of them using any of the social media and email buttons below.

If you have been to countries out of US and notice about their food portion, do share it with everyone by writing your experience in the comments below. Other readers will appreciate your share tremendously!





19 responses to “Food Portions: The #1 Factor That Makes You Fat”

  1. grammiem Avatar

    So the headline in my email that brought me to this article,was acid food,,,,not portion size. Where’s the info you highlighted in my email header?

  2. c leary Avatar
    c leary

    “I totally agree with you!”…. I feel this is the only way to lose weight and keep it off, you also have to eat whole foods everyday also.
    I am a little over 5 ft tall and used to weigh 235 lbs, I now weigh 117 lbs because I quit eating out and started eating at home. I eat very small portions many times a day at first I thought am I going to feel like I am starving and cannot eat like this for very long, then I realized I didn’t feel like that at all after the first 2-3 days after I started eating this way it never has bothered me since.
    This is the only way that I have been able to lose weight and keep it off it has been over 5 years and I haven’t gained back any weight.

    1. Tony Avatar

      i am 5feet 6 inches 75kgs. want to lose wieht to 70 kgs. How do i attain that

  3. Tiana Avatar

    When I eat out, it is usually Wendy’s. I order a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe and a side salad with Romaine lettuce and Asiago Cheese. I ask for 2 packets of Ceasar’s Dressing and no Croutons. When I get to my table, I put half the salad in the lid, throw away the bun and put half the hamburger, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle in one half of the salad, the rest in the other. Mix one packet of dressing in one ‘bowl’. I eat one salad and bring the other one home.

  4. Suzy Blair Avatar
    Suzy Blair

    When I eat out, I order a take home box at the same time I order my food. Before I take a bite, I put 1/2 or more of my meal in the box.

  5. Ana Avatar

    Great article! Fast food was one of the worst human inventions. Even worse, companies like Coca Cola and others invest millions in supporting the GMO industry. In America, even the FDA regulations can’t be trusted due to lobbyists and money. It’s pretty sad. With this said, if we don’t take care of what’s on our plate, no one will. The first step to that is getting educated on food choices.

  6. Laura K Avatar
    Laura K

    I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks for all of your emails. These are VERY helpful as I have fibromyalgia, leaky gut, high triglycerides, and back problems. Portion control is something I definately need to become more self-disciplined with. Every article you print is helpful!

  7. Lois Avatar

    Acid foods, portion sizes, not enough alkaline foods, lack of water. This, I feel, was not by accident.

    Years ago, the FDA recommendations was majority grain foods. The GMO grains without fiber/nutrients turn into SUGAR. Sugar causes weight gain. Weight gain causes fatigue, no activity. The increase of sweet drinks, sodas, didn’t help.

    I’ve often said, there are many ways an enemy can destroy from within…lack of good food/water.

  8. Jesse Avatar

    I keep clicking on to your articles and the latest was 4 things to never eat for breakfast and they will never load up. I’m sure you’ll say it’s my computer but how can I read your articles or watch your videos?

  9. Jean Kuehl Avatar
    Jean Kuehl

    Unlike Jesse, I was able to download and watch the video; one of my pet peeves is having to watch interminable videos – I could read the information much faster, plus the sound is too low for my ears. I suppose the information is good, however I already do most of the recommended things, but weight is still a bit of a problem. At 5’1″ and 120 pounds, I still have an OK index, but would like to shed 10 pounds. Your dietary recommendations don’t sound all that easy to me. About the only thing that I’d find acceptable that I’m not already doing would be to use sprouted grain breads rather than the Breadsmith whole wheat with walnuts and cranberries that I now eat one slice of per day. We’ll see….

  10. Peter Hood Avatar
    Peter Hood

    I am Canadian. I see the fat people as soon as I cross over
    to Massena, N.Y. The reason Americans are fat is two-fold,
    cheap food and easy accessibility, not to mention an idiotic
    pride in being fat!

  11. Teri Avatar

    Enjoyed the article. Helped me see a different view point. Thanks.

  12. richard lee myers 2 Avatar
    richard lee myers 2

    i enjoy your information it has help me with my training aim a runner and a freestyle wrestler in the beginning of my fortys

  13. Sampson Addo-Teye Avatar
    Sampson Addo-Teye

    Thanks to all the contributors. It’s amazing how you learn from other experiences. I’m blessed to log on to this platform.
    I did a normal medical check and saw the results were all out of the normal ranges. By cutting everything I put into my body by half, I came within range when I checked again in 3 months. I then researched more and found that SUGAR, FAT, OIL, WHEAT and CATTLE(Beef, Milk & Products) were my enemies so I further reduced them. Try and identify all you ate within the past 12 hours and you’ll surprised to pinpoint what the problem was. Eliminate one of these foods (Sugar, fats, oils, wheat and any cattle product) for a month go back then another and decide for yourselves which ones to avoid. Moderation is the KEY because avoidance will cause you to lack vital nutrients. God Bless

  14. Peter Avatar

    Hi Emma
    I have read your article on why people are becoming obese….. I can’t disagree with your reasons about portion sizes. Here in Australia the problem is much the same – for many people!
    I have read all the comments on this article – BUT there is one issue which is only very briefly touched on.
    Compare our 21st century lifestyles with those of one or two generations back, or even just when we started work: we are largely a sedentary society. We will NEVER fix it by changing our diets alone, or reducing serving sizes, alone.
    (Mostly) we sit – in the car to go just about anywhere; we sit at work; we sit in the evenings; we watch too much TV; we have all mod-cons: water, power on tap, we have too many time-savers – sprinklers in the garden….. But we can never say what we profitably do health-wise, with the time we save!!
    How many of us walk regularly, at least three times a week – at a pace, say, of at least 5 kilometers an hour (or 3 miles per hour)? Or play an active sport – one that gets us sweating – and our heart rate up, by say more than 30% of its normal?
    One of the latest invasions of an exercise regime is shopping on line – don’t even leave home – everything ‘on tap’!
    Get out and enjoy God’s amazing creation! Avoid the trappings of the ‘concrete jungle’ – for some hours at least once a week!

  15. Ella Avatar

    I think I need to read your articles and reader comments, instead of eating! 5-3 and 178. I cannot seem to get my weight down. I am going to begin measuring my portions. perhaps this will help? At 83 years of age I find it more difficult to follow through my intentions.

  16. Terry Offord Avatar
    Terry Offord

    An excellent article and very true in all aspects. Myself, I do not nor ever have eaten junk food, i.e. Takeaways, KFC, MacDonalds etc.,I spent most of my working life in South East Asia (Mainly Singapore,Malaysia,Indonesia,Hong Kong) where excellent, healthy food is available. I first worked there in 1956, and on and off since that period until 1970. I still visit Singapore especially, for holidays and I have noticed that, over the past twenty odd years, the Trash Food and Giant helpings of the American junk diet have crept into the nation’s eating habits, visual result is huge fat Asian Kids, Fat Girls and men with fat bellies, TOTALLY Un Asian in fact, all attributable to the imported rubbish and ideas sold as food.Evidence to the results are readily seen thruout most of South East Asia these days.The inroads of European Trash Food is not impressive, other than to the profit margins of the huge Food Corporations who have opened up in these countries.

  17. Terry Offord Avatar
    Terry Offord

    Emma, You have disclosed some very real facts on the Australian way of life which is almost a carbon copy of the lifestyle prominent in the USA, Slothlike, with exercise being confined by so many with Lifting a bottle/can of beer to their face. , to be fair however, there are a few who take exercise playing physical games, running, walking, trekking and enjoying the amazing outdoors available around the country. It appears that many people take the soft options however which accounts for the staggering numbers of grossly fat people, the immense numbers of Heart and Liver problems and, bearing in mind that our population is one tenth of the USA and that a good variety of healthy high quality Raw Food materials are available in Australia. But then, how many of todays people can cook?

  18. A Marvin Avatar
    A Marvin

    I lived and worked in China the past year and the Chinese are crazy for fast food. They love McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Pizza Hut. They can’t get enough soda and it sells for 30 cents for 16 oz. I think older Chinese eat healthier, but under 25 for the most part has a diet of garbage.

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