Of course, it's easy to point at the ridiculous food you see on Web sites like This Is Why You're Fat, or the absurd (but wonderful) treats like fried cheesecake or the Monte Cristo sandwich. But really, that's not the problem. The fact is that the basic serving size is enormous, and verging on the obscene.
On Wednesday, we went to a restaurant for a birthday dinner. I went with the dieter's meal. For $12.99, they gave me a small Caesar salad, a half-size portion of what was basically a burger, mashed potatoes and broccoli with some cole slaw, and a half-size dessert. In other words, half a regular meal.
I couldn't finish it. I managed the salad, half the main course, and none of the dessert, and went home feeling full. On Thursday, I ate most of the rest of the main course and half of the dessert for my lunch, and still felt full at dinner time. Then yesterday, I finished the main course and the cole slaw for lunch, had a small dinner in the evening, and the rest of my dessert.
In other words, a half size meal fed me for nearly three days. A whole normal meal works out as practically a week's worth of food for an average middle-aged man. In some places, a frickin' salad contains more calories than I need for the day! So even when you try to stick with the healthy options, they're still way in excess of what's necessary, or even sensible.
Compare recipe books from the 1930s with modern recipe books, and what used to be 8-12 servings is now considered 4 servings, even though we're all much less active these days. The smallest latte in Starbucks is three times the size of what you'd get in a French cafe, and contains about a third of my daily caloric needs. I could go on, but there's no need.
And that, my friends, is why I' m fat. And why most Americans are fat, and why there's an epidemic of diabetes.
Let me just reiterate. A half size restaurant meal fed me for nearly three days.
The answer's simple. Put less food on the plate.