Weight Loss Surgery - shocked about portions!!

View Full Version : shocked about portions!!

09-14-2009, 10:17 AM
And frankly, i don't know why i should be. last week, i was in a restaurant, and here's what i ordered:

a small salad
cheeseburger without the roll, but with lettuce, tomato, onion
well-done fries [because if i'm going to eat carbs, it sure isn't gonna be the roll!]

here's what arrived -

a beautifully prepared salad - 4 cups of it!!!
an 8 oz burger
at least TWO CUPS of fries!!!

I was prepared for the large burger - and knew i'd simply eat what i could. but with the rest of that meal, it barely looked like i touched it!!!! about 10 mouthfuls of salad - and a total of 8 fries.

and before the waiter came to take it away, i simply looked at it and was very very sad. what a tremendous WASTE!!!!! why oh why can't there be a 'smaller menu' with the same stuff in smaller portions????

<but the fries WERE good!!!>

09-14-2009, 10:57 AM
Some restaurants have a senoir or smaller portions menu... bummer about the wasted food, but good for you for just eating what you wanted! I have a compulsion about eating *all* the food I pay for.

Thighs Be Gone
09-14-2009, 11:01 AM
GOOD FOR YOU TO control the fries intake! WHOA! I couldn't have done that. It is one of those foods I adore--truly, I can't have just one!

Also, great idea for ditching the roll. I do that kind of thing too. I really don't like the roll anyway. I find it really liberating to ditch the bad foods I don't adore.

Yep, the portions are unreal most anywhere. Thus, look at our country!!!!

09-14-2009, 11:02 AM
It *is* sad. They just figure any waste as part of the cost of business, but they should be concerned about waste from an ethical perspective too. Of course, an awful lot of people don't "waste" the portions ;), but really, they're awfully big for anyone. I think it's supposed to make you think you're getting a good deal, even if you don't eat it all.

Sometimes you can take it home. But if it's a bit of an indulgence in the first place, you don't necessarily want to keep repeating it. Stuff like fries don't reheat well. And you can't always share an entree for lots of reasons.

09-14-2009, 04:30 PM
thanks ladies! and trust me, if that food had been placed in front of me BEFORE i'd had the surgery, it would ALL have been gone.

but i gotta confess that i do indeed have certain rules: fries can ONLY be eaten outside the house, and ONLY in places where i know that they're good. and they CANNOT be taken INTO the house. never never never.

and i usually plan better - since i know i'm going to be taking home a doggie bag, i make sure that i order something that's really good and that i'm willing to reheat another day. That condition kind of limits things. but trust me, i'd rather spend a couple of dollars more to get something yummy that'll last me for those 2-3 additional meals than to spend less and have to throw it out.

but last week, it was a business trip - NBD.

09-14-2009, 05:15 PM
The main reason restaurant portions are so huge is that food/ingredient costs are the cheapest part of running a restaurant. Customers expect smaller amounts of food to be less expensive than large portions, but the savings to the restaurant is minimal. So, in the example of a $9.00 meal, a meal 1/4 the size cound not be sold at 1/4 or probably even 1/2 the price. The savings in food cost to the restaurant for a smaller meal may be less than a dollar or even only a few cents. Yet people are generally upset if a meal cost $9 and a meal 1/4 the size cost $8.50.

The appetizer menu used to be a good option, but the trend now is for appetizers to be priced nearly the same and to have nearly the calorie content (or even higher) than a regular meal.

09-14-2009, 08:24 PM
Actually, I think pricing has everything to do with consumer expectations of portion size. If a restaurant could charge $8.00 and serve a 1/4 portion and have return business, it certainly would do so. It has to do with the customer -- the customer wants to perceive value for money and in the majority of consumer's eyes, it comes down to how much do you get for the price.
Think of it this way: if a restaurant could serve 4 oz of salmon, 2 baby baked potatoes and 1 cup of green beans for $15.00 AND have return business, it certainly would because the profit margin would be HUGE. Not many customers are happy to pay that amount of money for such small (normal) portions.

They would be happy to pay $15.00, though, for a big-a$$ plate of deep-fried cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, and processed chicken fingers. AND they would return too. And probably have a ton of beer with it too. The profit margin may be smaller than above for the food alone, but the issue is RETURN business. If you get people coming back, your restaurant will survive. It won't survive on $10.00 for 5 pieces of cucumber sushi. It WILL survive on $10.00 for 2 lbs of nacho chips out of a bag, melted processed cheese and pickled jalapenos. And if the restaurant next door will serve the same for $8.00, guess which restaurant will survive. Hence the supersized portions of food at every mainstream restaurant out there, from IHOP to Denny's to Mexicali Rosa's to Montana's to The Outback to Boston Pizza. The average consumer wants a ton of food for a low price. Restaurants want repeat customers and offer huge portions to satisfy the "value for money" desires of their patrons.


09-15-2009, 12:39 PM
Which is why I like overpriced French restaurants. ;)

09-16-2009, 03:38 PM
I saw a show the other day about a man eating a 5 lb steak in such and such a time period and he would get a t-shirt and his meal paid for!! That included the fat!! I actually started salivating, and realized that before my WLS, I probably would have given that a go!!! SICK!!! I still have a tendency to order too much and than fret because of the leftover and I HATE leftovers. My passion is jalapeno poppers, but I just recently read on the box of frozen ones that 5 were about 500 calories. That is a lot more than my 100 to 200 calorie in between meals snacks! My DH told me that he hopes there are no Lock N' Lock in heaven, because he hates how they jump out at him from the frig when you open the door and some of them only have a couple of TBSP in them! It is sad about how much gets thrown in the garbage in this world! No wonder there are so many obsese clean-platers. DITTO ON THE FRY THING. I can send you my GD and she will ration out three fries for me and eat the rest. Why, because the doctor says I can't have fries! LOL!

09-16-2009, 04:35 PM
Nan I'm learning it's ok to throw out! its hard but necessary

09-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I generally don't get things that I wouldn't take home of course I have a hoover of a husband for leftovers I think are a little too rich to go beyond a single meal.

Of course it is a huge mental shift to think someone that is put in front of you isn't your meal. I used to think anything I made was a meal no matter how many portions it was supposed to be.

Luckily, most of the places I go these days don't have huge portions or if they do it is because they are meant to be eaten family style (eg Chinese restaurants). I can accept that the dish isn't just for me or just for my husband and me but should be shared by multiple people so its ok that we have leftovers.

09-16-2009, 06:36 PM
I far prefer small, rich and expensive meals (a la French cuisine) to large, economical ones (a la Cheesecake Factory and Vinny Testa's).

I don't mind spending extra, because I enjoy the entire experience. On the other hand, if I find myself at a chain like Cheesecake, I don't mind the waste. It's my money. If I want to throw it out, I will. I donate money to Project Bread. :)

09-16-2009, 11:28 PM
Very good for you for not eating it all; that can be so tempting! You are such a strong one!

kate looseme
09-17-2009, 09:14 PM
Hmmm, I miss those food. Great job on controlling it. :)

09-18-2009, 10:51 AM
when i wrote the OP, i was just 'chatting,' but some of these comments gave me some real insight. Remember a few months ago when i was freaking out because i had food in the frig and it was upsetting me? the whole concept of WASTE, and throwing out food, and holding onto things -

right this second, there are some tiny containers in my frig that are probably science fair projects by now - and there's really nothing of interest in them - a couple of tbs of a really good marinade i made. something i packed for lunch and didn't eat. the odd carrot or two that was replaced by a fresh bag and then forgotten.

and the more STUFF that's in the frig, the less these things are noticed. there IS one thing i've been doing - because i hate wasting things - when i make chicken stock or soup or whatever, i give most of it to one of my friends - the one with the 5 children and all different schedules.

Maybe i really need to find a husband - like Nelie's HOOVER!!!

09-18-2009, 11:04 AM
Jiff you're Match.com Profile could Start out "Are you a Volume eater?"
I always find science projects in the fridge and scary unknown variables in the freezer!
If you want to send that soup down here I'm in! My chicken soup stinks!!
I want to do a CSA next year but james would run from veggies (unless covered in cheese) and I can't eat a box in a week!

09-18-2009, 11:15 AM
LOL!!!!!! thanks Kier - let's hope my ideal match COOKS, too! i've wanted to do a CSA [some have half boxes], but even THAT would be more than i could cope with.

09-18-2009, 11:29 AM

My beagle is also a hoover!! He gets bland leftovers and veggies :)


My husband and I did a CSA by ourselves last year and it was very fruit intensive. We had no problem eating all the veggies but had to freeze a lot of the fruit before it went bad.

Do you have any neighbors/friends that would want to split a share with you? Our CSA also had half shares.

Another thing you can do is try your hand at canning. I know someone who does canning for excessive garden items. Very awesome.

09-18-2009, 12:43 PM
I bring my leftovers home for my husband to take for lunches. When we go out, I order whatever protein I want (steak, burger with no bun, chicken, etc.) and then order sides HE likes I eat only the protein and bring the sides home for him (usually baked potato or certain veggies from certain restaurants, like green beans from those who serve them).

I got an email yesterday from Longhorn steakhouse - they have a special of a triple cheese bacon-wrapped filet. You bet we'll be going there this weekend!

09-18-2009, 01:51 PM
Jilly Alternately My mouth waters and stomach hurts at that!
Nelie I'm considering askign my MIL and Poss SIL (Tho she isn't big on sharing)

09-20-2009, 04:12 PM
I'm like JP, with all the little containers in the frig. I went to our Krogers and they are remodeling and had a lot of weird stuff I've always wanted to try, i.e....can of heart of palms, couple boxes of different flavored couscouses, some kind of mexican stew with tripe, couple of cans of Italian olive, Amak crackers, panko crumbs, some preserving salt for smoking meat, a can of mustard sauce sardines, grape seed oil, dried chickpeas, roasted/salted watermelon seeds, some organic gormet soups, green olive bruchette topping, glee, red lentils. Just normal food! LOL! All of it had good dates on them. Plus pork loins were on sale for $1.39 a pound. Now what to do with all of this?!?!? I'm doing a pantry challenge. Only thing that I can buy to go with this stuff is milk, eggs, and maybe some cheese. The pork...I freeze a couple of packages of loin chops, ground some to make my own lean sausage, cube some for "Pig Meat Stew" (that's what my GK call it), and a small bit for bbq pork for sammies. I'm really trying had to scale down my food and what I bring into the house. I was proud that I was able to throw out a piece of roast beef this afternoon after lunch. Not enough for more than a couple of bites and it would usually end up in the frig, falling out everytime I opened the darn door. Mashed potatoes and gravy went straight into the trash; only kept the salad which I have my doubts will get ate. I do get so stressed when my cupboards and freezer is full and I can't even get ice in the darn thing. I went to Sam's warehouse for the church this weekend and realized there is hardly anything I can buy in there anymore unless I get someone to share with me. I did pick up a box of Atkins protein bars that were a bit cheaper. Their fish wasn't any cheaper and most of it was breaded! What I wanted: Joseph's flax and whole wheat pitas, whey-low, small bag of salad, kashi cereal, and TP. None of it, plus TP in a 15000 roll pack! Guess that is why I ended up only buying a camping oven and the protein bars. Oh, for got I did get a package of chicken sausage with mushrooms and aged swiss. I'm mental about food!!!