Old conventional wisdom: Overweight people overeat.
New conventional wisdom: Overweight people eat typical portions. Normal-weight people eat less.
Don’t believe us?
The “Heavyweight” diet below shows how easy it is to reach 2,000 calories when you eat out. That’s the amount a sedentary 5’5” 60-year-old woman needs to maintain a healthy weight. Just three ordinary restaurant foods can get you there: a bagel, a sandwich, and an order of spaghetti. There’s no room for side dishes, snacks, or drinks (except water, black coffee, or tea).
Of course, few people eat that way. That helps explain why so many Americans exceed 2,000 calories and end up frowning down at the bathroom scale.
The “Lightweight” diet has roughly the same number of calories, but you get them by eating more—and healthier—foods. The trick: They’re either lower-calorie foods or about half of the over-sized portions served at most restaurants.
Other relevant links:
- Serving and package sizes influence how much food we eat. See: Why Do People Overeat?
- Factors such as descriptions, colors, and the way food is served influence how much we eat. See: Tricks for Eating Less
- How to calculate the amount of calories you should eat to maintain your weight. See: Your Calorie Target to Maintain Weight