Experts suggest bloated portions could be to blame for expanding waistlines

Foods like pasta, smoothies, and bagels are common foods, but most people are eating large portions, which is why you might be fighting to lose weight.

"Portion distortion still exists and it can be really confusing because now we've been trained to think a three to four ounce-size bagel is normal," said dietitian Patricia Bannan.

Bannan says you'd be stunned to realize that's about four to five slices of bread.

And it doesn't stop there.

"We see more food, we're getting more for our money, but in the end we're spending a lot of money and a lot of energy trying to lose the weight in this country," said Bannan.

Eight ounces it the correct size for a smoothie. You might get that at home, but a small at most shops is 16, a large is 24 or 32 ounces.

"That is going to be a lot of calories and a lot of sugar," said Bannan.

Obviously, the true serving size of one cup of past is not going to fill you up, that's why Bannan says you can volumize with good ingredients and feel so much more full.

"Caramelized cauliflower, some California prunes is going to give you a lot more nutrition, antioxidants, fiber, and it's going to cut down on the pasta portion you're having," said Bannan. "Not only are you boosting nutrition, you're cutting those calories."

The time it takes to eat is another crucial point.

"It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that you're full," said Bannan.

While most are served a two ounce chip bag, one ounce is the proper portion. Bannan suggests pistachios in shells to slow you down while getting key nutrients.

Even healthy food calories add up. Three to four ounces is standard for a chicken breast, although there are exceptions, which is why hand cues work.

The palm is a perfect protein size, a cupped hand for carbohydrates, a thumb a serving of fat, and a fist is a nice comparison for produce.

"The beautiful thing about looking at the hand guide when it comes to portions sizes, is your hand is generally proportioned to your body," Bannan said.

You can click here for Patricia Banna's pasta recipe.
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