You’re eating heart-healthy fish, snacking pretzels and drinking soymilk/almond milk. So how come you’re still gaining weight? The answer very likely lies in how much you’re eating. “People are so focused on fat or carbs, they’re blind to the huge portions of [colonel-dense foods they are being served,” says Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., co-author of The Volumetrics Weight- Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories (HarperCollins, 2002).

Not to mention the huge portions we serve ourselves. As a result, 64 percent of Americans are overweight, as opposed to 47 percent 25 years ago. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) surveyed serving-size standards in the late 1970s, a typical cookie is eight times bigger, a serving of pasta is almost six times as generous, and steaks are three times as large as they were 27 years ago, says researcher Lisa Young, R.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University in Manhattan. No wonder we weigh more. We’re taking in more than 300 additional calories per day — about 20 percent more than we did back in 1971, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now here’s the good news: You can gain control of your weight. The key is portion control, not willpower, say diet and nutrition experts. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand what’s too much and learn to be satisfied with less. First check out our day’s worth of delicious, satisfying recipes that show you clearly what portion control means. Then turn to page 220 to learn how too-large servings wreak havoc on a diet and what you can do about it.

Not too big, not too small

Here are a day’s worth of delicious, nutritious dishes that are just the right size.


Toasted Oatmeal With Almonds, Raisins and Apple

Serves 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 7-8 minutes

1 tablespoon slivered or sliced


1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

(not instant)

1 cup nonfat milk

1 medium apple, cored and diced

1 tablespoon seedless raisins

1 teaspoon brown sugar

teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lunch Herbed Tuna Sandwich With Mediterranean Veggie Salad

Serves 1

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time:1 minute

Chilling time:15 minutes


‘/4 cup white-wine


1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled

and halved

1 bay leaf

‘/2 cup cauliflower florets

1 carrot, sliced

1 stalk fennel or celery,


5 olives, any variety

1 teaspoon drained capers

Salt and ground black pepper


1 3-ounce can white tuna in water,


1 tablespoon minced roasted red

pepper (from water-packed jar)

1 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Salt and ground black pepper

2 2-ounce slices whole-grain bread

1 red lettuce leaf


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Image courtesy of: Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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Christy is a Certified Wellness Coach and has a passion for empowering and educating individuals. She has over 10 years experience in the Health and Wellness industry and continues to pursue health and wellness activities through weight training, aerobics, and dance. Connect with us on our Google Plus Page Active. Healthy. Well.