Americans like things big. Americans do things big. Americans eat big. So it’s not a wonder Americans are big. We love our all you can eat Home Town Buffets and endless Pasta Bowles. We love to Super Size and Gulp Big. We demand value for our money and quality doesn’t necessarily determine value for many of us, but size does. No stupid, small French servings/portions for us!
Were we always like this? Let’s take a look at an article from called, The History of Supersizing:
“The idea can be traced back to a man named David Wallerstein, who ran movie theaters in the 1960s. He tried method after method to get his customers to buy more than one order of popcorn. Nothing worked. Then he realized why: people thought they would look like pigs if they bought two popcorns. So he tried increasing sales a different way, by offering a jumbo size popcorn. The trick worked. Popcorn sales went up.Wallerstein’s brilliant idea might have stayed in his theater chain, but in 1968, he became a director of McDonald’s.
In the 1970s, the economy was not on McDonald’s’ side, and customers were visiting the restaurants less and less and then only buying very little. Wallerstein convinced the chain to offer larger sizes of fries to boost sales — and, of course, it worked. Incredibly, the large size of fries from the late 1970s is the small size of fries today! The same is true of other menu items. The largest soda in 1955 was a mere seven ounces, smaller than the 12-ounce child size offered today.
The economic crunch of the 1970s brought the chain another innovation as well: the value meal. Fries and sodas both have higher profit margins than burgers. Yet, while a penny-pinching diner might order a burger with no sides or drinks, nobody is going to come in for a meal and order a soda or fries without a burger. A McDonald’s franchisee named Max Cooper pushed the company to sell value meals and the rest is history.”


In the early 1990’s, dinner plates in restaurants increased in size from 10 to 12 inches, but our stomachs didn’t. People’s stomachs are about the size of their fists, and can only hold about 4 to 6 cups of food.

Here are some comparasions on serving sizes:


Food or beverage 1950s Expanded 2003 portion
French fries 2.4 ounces up to 7.1 ounces
Fountain soda 7.0 ounces 12 to 64 ounces
Hamburger patty 1.6 ounces up to 8.0 ounces
Hamburger sandwich 3.9 ounces 4.4 to 12.6 ounces
Muffin 3.0 ounces 6.5 ounces
Pasta serving 1.5 cups 3.0 cups
Chocolate bar 1 ounce 2.6 to 8 ounces


To get a visual on some of these portions then and now, look here:


If you know me, you know I am not about counting calories, which is what some people will argue is the only problem with these ridiculous portions – too many calories. I think the problem is overloading the body which create hormonal imbalances. I have had all sorts of people come in that were starving themselves to death and eating very few calories, after they had been on a super size tangent for years, but yet they still didn’t lose weight because they had eaten themselves into a hormonal hell. I think the overeating of calories – especially the wrong ones – creates an imbalance.


So more importantly, if you look carefully at the things that have been increased in size you will find they are mostly carbohydrates and sugar: soda, French fries, popcorn, bread, bagels, pasta, rice, pizza crust, muffins, candy. These things make us over-secrete insulin. So will too much protein, so eating a 20 ounce steak in one sitting is not good for us either!


In the presence of insulin, no fat burning occurs, but a lot of fat storage does! Insulin suppresses two fat burning hormones : glucagon, which promotes the burning of sugar and fat and growth hormone which is used for muscle development and building new muscle mass. It also increases hunger, so even though you ate a gargantuan size meal, you will be hungry again pretty soon.


So how do we know what a real portion is? You can use this chart:


½ cup cooked whole grains or pasta
1-cup cereal
1 slice of bread
1 part of a bun
½ bagel
1 piece of fresh fruit
¼ cup dried fruit
¾ cup fruit juice
½ cup fresh vegetables
½ cup beans or legumes
1 cup leafy vegetables
3-4 ounces animal protein (poultry, fish, meat)
1 egg
1-tablespoon nut butter
6 almonds or 12 walnut halves
2 teaspoons pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds
1-cup of milk
½ cup ice cream or frozen dessert
1 ounce of cheese


You should ALWAYS look at the nutrition facts on the package to see what a serving is. Most people would be shocked to see what a serving actually is and how much more they are consuming.


OK, now what do you do while you are in line at the buffet? Watch this 55 second video and you will learn how to figure it out of you can’t measure:


I know food cravings can be bad. You need to know there can be lots of reasons for them. The hypothalamus is one gland that regulates your appetite and if it’s out of whack (technical term) you will really have trouble. If you are under a lot of stress, your adrenals can be weak and really make you want to eat. Our insulin levels, like I mentioned before, make you have more cravings. Even your gall bladder can have a hand in giving you cravings. It’s my job to help you with these problems – so call me!

These recommendations are for the reduction of stress only. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care.