The Severance from Serving Sizes

by Gabriel Hummel on October 20, 2010

portion control at fast food

Whenever I cook, I try to make special note of the portion sizes I am dealing with. As I have been a nutritionist in the past, I cannot help but look at a food item and understand its weight, caloric value, sodium levels, and general half life.

It’s a double edged curse that allows me to pig out when the right moment approaches. Plus, it feels damn gratifying to laden a full pound of broccoli onto a plate, smear then with peanut butter and chalk the whole experience up to a little over 200 calories.

My disturbing accompaniments to peanut butter aside, I typically like to have big portions of food instead of a three bite meals that many a hypo critic dietitian will recommend.

So when I saw a report on portion control with some pictures to incite dietary rebellion, I had to speak up or forever hold my peace.

CSPINET portion control images

The article talks about the problems with portion size, and basically concludes that a serving size of two Oreos or 11 chips is unreasonable for any rational human being.

I call bullshit.

First of all, not every American is sitting in front of a box of Chips Ahoy and wondering where they all went after a marathon of Law and Order. Many people will only want to have a handful of chips or a few cookies, and it that’s above the government mandates for portion control then so be it.

You aren’t going to become a malleable piece of human silly putty by having a few more cookies or chips, as long as you aren’t pounding out boxes of them every week as if you are training for the next Joey Chestnut challenge.


In relation to the pictures, what person wants to sit down and eat a half of a muffin unless you are splitting it with a partner-foodie-in-crime? I say eat the whole damned muffin if you are alone and crave it like a zombie craves human flesh. Just supplement it by skipping on your regular half a pint of ben and jerry’s that night.

Problem solved.

Now I know that every nutritionist on the planet Is going to call shenanigans on my nutrition background and reiterate to me that most people don’t have the will power to eat a whoe muffin, a massive sandwich, or 11oz of steak and simply walk away from food later that night. They might be right, but what if that person made the judgment call to work out that week?

Imagine that, you could either A) Eat the hell out of that chocolate cake and eat a bit less later that night or B) eat all you want and kick your ass in the gym for an hour or more.

People love choices right? This is like customizing your own BMW except you get to pick your dress size instead.


Studies like this only serve to pass blame onto someone other than yourself, after all, it’s the American way to do whatever the hell you want and complain about it later.

I say eat whatever the hell you want, but don’t be methodic about it and pray to the God’s of Sara Lee every night, use common sense and learn to make food that you think is devoid of pleasure and turn it into something that you have fantasies about.

That way you can get your ass in gear, eat a little bit less of the stuff you know will make you go shopping at Macys again and still have a wonderfully sensual relationship with the world of food.

Learn to love food


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