I think the main reason a lot of people struggle with their weight in America is because of portion control. A major factor is restaurants, many people eat out for all of their meals, because they can’t cook, or are too busy and so on. Restaurants serve the biggest meals possible (which is great for your wallet, but not for your gut). I remember one time I ordered a grilled cheese at the cheesecake factory (yes I know, stop judging me) and I swear they cut the loaf of bread the long way instead of in normal slices. I felt like I was on Man vs. Food trying to finish the meal (and it was just a grilled cheese!).
There are obviously other factors than just eating out that cause people to choose larger portions, maybe you are starving by the time you get home for dinner and you just scoff it down before you realize that you just ate a whole box of pasta and a jar of tomato sauce. Or maybe you go out to dinner and you are spending 15$ on your burger and fries, so you definitely don’t want to waste your money. Or maybe since you were little you were told to finish your plate, and it just stuck with you over the years.
So what’s the problem with that?
Eating large portions means you are probably only eating 1 or 2 times a day. Which is sending your body into fasting mode in between meals (using up all of your stored energy and most likely making you cranky). Also when you overeat you are making your body work overtime; it has to pump blood faster to get the proper amount of insulin out to use up the ridiculous amount of glucose you just consumed. Your stomach is also overloaded with food, possibly causing acid reflux, or heartburn. But worst of all you are consuming a great deal of calories, most likely more than you need.
It is healthier to eat more frequent smaller meals throughout the day; it puts less stress on your heart and your digestive tract. Three hours after your last meal your body is in a fasting state (yes already), so feed it! Eating this way will speed up your metabolism (yay for weight loss) and also keep your energy level high throughout the whole day.
The best way to do this would be to eat your three meals a day with a bunch of healthy snacks in between OR by eating five small meals a day.
There are plenty of awesome foods to snack on if you are too busy to prepare five meals, or if you miss one of your three. Keep a stash in your car, desk, or purse (I am known to always have food in my purse). Try protein bars, peanut butter crackers, fruits (whole or dried), almonds, or pretty much anything you can fit in a baggie.
So stop depriving your body and coming up with excuses why, and just eat more often!