February 23, 2004 at 3:18 PM CST - Updated June 26 at 9:21 AM
If you're trying to lose weight and are eating healthy, but still aren't seeing any results, you're not alone. Millions of people claim diets don't work, but the diets aren't always the problem. Portion sizes, even in diet meals, are getting bigger and bigger. So we turned to the experts to find out how to scale back super-sized food without going hungry.
Go to any restaurant and you'll probably be served a big portion of food. Take this plate for example (see photo at right). Do you think it's super-sized?
"This is double the serving size for fish and double for potatoes, so that's a lot of extra calories just from the servings there," says nutritionist Regina Dick.
Regina says huge portions are making it difficult for people to lose weight, even if you're eating healthy. She says we're even drinking too much.
"When we look at beverages, people are drinking 150 calories more a day, and that's equivalent to a 15 pound weight gain in a year," says Regina.
So, to cut back without going hungry, she offers these tips.
"Make sure you have a meal on a small plate, and then have a meal off a larger size plate."
She also suggests cutting your plate in sections. She suggest making 1/4 of the plate meat, 1/4 a starch, and 1/2 vegetables.
She says you want your meat portion to be the size of a deck of cards. Your starches should only be a few ounces and, yes, an ounce is small.
"A matchbox is equivalent to one ounce of meat cooked. You can use a disc like this for one serving of cheese. A lipstick tube is a one-ounce serving, too."
In case you don't have all those items lying around at your favorite restaurant, Regina says just look to your hand for the answer.
"A fist is going to represent a cup, so that is two servings."