Video: How to have portion control with supermarket meals

  1. Closed captioning of: How to have portion control with supermarket meals

    >>> we are back at 8:19. this morning on "eat this, not that" serving size . over the last 20 years the diameter of the typical bagel has doubled. the size of a cheeseburger has increased by 77%, if you can believe it. and sodas have ballooned by more than 200%. as a result americans are spending more money, eating more food, and packing on the pounds. david zinczenko is the author of "eat this, not that," supermarket survival guide. david, good morning.

    >> great to see you, willie.

    >> let's be very clear what we're talking about here. serving sizes, which can often be very deceptive on packaging.

    >> right. we have been trained to basically see gee gantic servings as individual portions. like if you look in an nba locker room, after awhile seven footers would look perfectly average to you. this is what's happening to our food. food companies are trying to find a new normal and get you to believe that this is a typical serving, when it's not. and you need to know the score, because otherwise, you're going to, you know, pack on a lot of pounds without knowing it.

    >> all right. let's start with pop tarts . a lot of people probably this morning sent their kids out the door with a package like this. what should they know?

    >> apparently this has to be a tag-team effort because you open the package and there are two pop tarts in there. so -- and 40% of the calories that children get are empty calories . so, they -- you've got to be careful. if you eat both of those you think it's 200 calories because that's what the label says so it's two servings. so you're actually getting 400 calories.

    >> oh, i'm worried about this.

    >> you do at every week it's becoming ten packages of starburst candies over the course of a week. you've got to know to eat one, share the other one with a friend, or let it go stale.

    >> or throw the other one out.

    >> this one we're looking at right here is boston market chicken pot pie . i think pot pie , i'm eating the whole thing.

    >> well, and look, we never negotiate a pie, the word pie, with a slimming food choice. but in this case, you know, this is half a serving, so what are you going to do say oh, i'm just going to heat up the left side of a pot pie ? i mean, if you -- you're going to eat the whole pot pie and be getting 1,080 calories. so over the course of a week, you do this a couple times a week and even twice a week and it ends up being the equivalent of these 11 krispy kreme doughnuts . so, you've got to, again, be very careful. understand what you're eating. because it's often two, three times more than you think. in which case you've got to look at the label and double the number of calories, double the sodium, double the fat. and --

    >> eat half the pot pie . uno chicago grill classic deep dish pizza. they bill this as an individual pizza which seems to me eat the whole thing.

    >> and then you go and check out on the website the listed calories and it says it's three servings. you think you're getting 770 calories but you're getting 2300. where does their accountant come from lehman brothers ?

    >> oh, boom!

    >> it doesn't make any sense. you do that. even twice a week, you go there and you eat lunch, and it's the equivalent of 26 taco bell tacos.

    >> so what they want you to do is to eat a third of that?

    >> they want you to eat a pound and a half of this, rather than the half pound slice that's right here. that's 770 calories.

    >> i'm going for the 26 tacos. this is the campbell's new england clam chowder microwavable soup cup. it comes in a small serving size .

    >> again, are you supposed to heat up one size of the cup? it's 400 calories. that's what you're getting. the cup runneth over. if you eat this, five times a week, really, willie, this is what the equivalent is. this is the calorie equivalent.

    >> a little bowl of popcorn.

    >> wait, there's more. let's head back to the picture. so this is what you're doing to your body over the course of a week. but they're going to say oh, no, that's two servings. i mean, look, it's an election year we're used to being lied to. but this is say little bit over the top .

    >> all right quickly before we go, this is the sobi beverage. a lot of people pick this up, little pick me up.

    >> right. you grab one of these. it looks like one serving. you're supposed to invite five guys over and then split this because this, they say is 2 1/2 servings. so, --

    >> that sounds like an awful party. invite five guys over and drink one bottle of this. david zinczenko , let's see real quick what you have.

    >> over the course of a week. right here. all those calories.

    >> dave zinczenko, thanks so much. i'm not hungry anymore. thank

updated 3/23/2012 8:22:46 AM ET 2012-03-23T12:22:46

Imagine you sign a lease to rent an apartment, and as you're moving in, you discover your rent money only covers the living room and the closet. To actually use the kitchen, the bedroom, and the bath, you'll have to pay two or three times what you'd agreed to. You'd be pretty ticked off, huh?

Well, something like that is happening right now in America's restaurants and supermarkets, but instead of costing you money, these rip-offs are costing you your health and your waistline.

See, food manufacturers know that you want to eat healthy, so they're doing everything they can to make their bad-for-you foods look good for you. And their number-one trick is to play with serving size: listing foods as lower in calories than they really are by claiming they serve more people than they really do. In other words, you'll buy a food, and then discover that if you want to eat everything you bought, you have to pay two, three, even four times the amount of calories you thought you were bargaining for.

Take a look below at some of the hidden fees the food industry is applying to your waistline, compliments of the new Eat This, Not That! 2012. And if you've already been victimized by serving sizes, as evidenced by your serving bowl for a belly, we've got your new weight loss plan right here: Belly Off! 2012, a free diet plan, exercise program, and community that will help you drop 10, 20, or even 30 pounds while still eating the foods you love. Check it out!

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Serving Size Rip-Off: SoBe Energize, Citrus Energy

Listed calories: 110
Servings per bottle: 2.5
Total calories: 275

Sure, this bottle will give you energy, it's called a sugar buzz. One SoBe Energize contains 67.5 grams of sweet stuff, or the equivalent of about 25 Hershey's Kisses. That buzz will last about half an hour, and in the process, flood your body with sugar and insulin, setting into motion a metabolic reaction that will plump up the fat cells around your tummy. Truth is, individual-sized drink bottles are notorious for listing multiple servings on what everybody assumes to be a one-person drink. But have you ever grabbed a bottle from a vending machine and split it with a buddy? Or saved half for another day? Of course not.

The Rules for Energy Drinks

Serving Size Rip-Off: Nissin Ramen Noodles

Listed calories: 190
Servings per package: 2
Total calories: 380

You don't eat Ramen because it's healthy; you eat it because it's cheap. Still, Nissin doesn't get a free pass for misleading consumers. Each individually wrapped package contains two servings. Imagine sawing one of these blocks down the middle, wrapping half in cellophane, and putting it back in the pantry for another day. Or better yet, imagine switching to whole wheat pasta and seasoning it with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. Presto, another cheap meal, but this time with some nutritional merit.

Serving Size Rip-Off: Kellogg's Pop-Tarts

Listed calories: 200
Servings per box: 2
Total calories: 400

What's worse than eating 200 calories of enriched flour stuffed with sugary fruit goo? Eating twice that many calories without even realizing it. The nutritional information on a box of Pop-Tarts lists one tart as a serving, but these iconic morning pastries come wrapped in twos, forcing you to decide between eating two Pop-Tarts now or one stale Pop-Tart tomorrow. Here's a smarter option: Drop a piece of whole-wheat bread into your toaster, and then spread it with strawberry jam and be on your way. You'll take in fewer calories with more fiber and real fruit.

20 Habits That Make You Fat

Serving Size Rip-Off: Campbell's Chunky Microwaveable Soup

Listed calories: 200
Servings per container: 2
Total calories: 400

Okay, clearly this is a single-serve cup. As if you'd ever microwave the cup, eat half, and then put the rest in the fridge to microwave another day. C'mon Campbell's, you're better than that.

Serving Size Rip-Off: Cedarlane Burrito Grande w/ Chili Verde SauceListed calories: 230
Servings per box: 2
Total calories: 460

There's one burrito in the box. By listing half a burrito as one serving, Cedarlane is clearly trying to make a typical meal look like a low-calorie meal. It's a particularly offensive serving-size scam when you consider that Cedarlane is a "natural" food company that prides itself on making healthy food convenient.

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Serving Size Rip-Off: King Size Butterfinger

Listed calories: 160
Servings per bar: 3
Total calories: 480

No one would mistake a king-sized chocolate bar for a light snack, but it's often difficult to assess the damage. Take this version of Bart Simpson's favorite indulgence. The nutrition label states that each serving contains only 160 calories, which sounds pretty good until you realize the package contains three servings. Since this candy is broken up into two bars, that means you're supposed to eat two-thirds of one of the bars (huh?). Avoid this confusing confection and, if you must indulge, go for a regular-sized bar, at least you won't need a specialized degree to decipher the label.

Serving Size Rip-Off: Boston Market Chicken Pot Pie

Listed calories: 560
Servings per box: 2
Total calories: 1,120

Split a pot pie? That's like splitting a bowl of soup. It just doesn't happen. But despite the somewhat reasonable 560 calories listed on the label, if you eat all of Boston Market's Pot Pie, you're actually taking in 1,120 calories, or more than half your day's energy. The company Banquet makes an honest, single serving pie, and it contains only 370 calories for the entire thing.

Serving Size Rip-Off: P.F. Chang's Fried Rice w/ Chicken

Listed calories: 303
Servings per box: 4
Total Calories: 1,212

Take a quick glance at the nutritional information on P.F. Chang's website and everything looks healthy, hardly any item breaks the 500-calorie mark. But on closer inspection, you'll notice that nearly every dish contains at least two servings, and some contain as many as six! A serving of Fried Rice with Chicken lists a modest 303 calories and 9 grams of fat, but when the dish arrives, it actually has four times that. Chang's argues that this is because its meals are meant to be split, but American diners aren't used to eating that way. What's more, the typical table will still order one dish per person, so even if they do split the dishes, they're still taking in the collective sum of one whole plate per customer.

The 10 Rules of Supermarket Shopping

Serving Size Rip-Off: Uno Chicago Grill Classic Individual Pizza

Listed calories: 770
Servings per pizza: 3
Total calories: 2,310

Last time I checked, "individual" meant single, sole, lone, i.e. ONE. But apparently the folks at Uno Chicago Grill didn't get that memo. This "individual" pizza contains three servings, which translates to 2,310 calories, 165 grams of fat, and 4,650 milligrams of sodium! When it comes to dining at Uno's, or any pizza joint, for that matter, you're typically better off having a few slices of a regular-sized thin-crust pie than going for the deceptively caloric "individual" offerings.

More Links:
The Best Snack Foods in America

Bad Foods with Health Benefits

Restaurants That Get It Right

30 Ways to Get Rid of Extra Weight

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