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Two for the price of … two

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Don’t you just love it when food manufacturers think it’s a good idea to pack two servings into a small package the size of one serving and then mark the calories for one serving on the front of the package as if that’s all that package really contains?

Seriously. I just discovered that a food I was tracking as one serving was in fact two. I’m not happy about that. One serving of that food wouldn’t be satisfying and therefore I would want to eat the whole package. But then I get twice the calories and twice the sodium, along with twice the fat and carbs.

Here I was trying to be ever so careful to select something that seemed to be controlled in it’s sodium amounts compared to other similar foods and then I find I actually got more sodium than if I ate the other food.

That reminds me of something similar that happened a couple months ago. I discovered a fruit cup I was eating from was 2 servings and not just one.

Fortunately, the listing I chose to track it on Spark accounted for all of the calories in the whole container, so no harm no fowl.

And here I think of myself as a careful person.

I check labels all of the time. I check the number of servings too, but apparently not enough not to catch those sneaky little impostors that pose as one serving but really are two.

I still eat the fruit cup every now and again, but at least I am mentally aware of what I am doing when I do it and it’s been carefully tracked.

The other, the TV dinner I purchased to eat during my unfortunate situation with my pipes freezing recently, leaving me unable to cook much, well I’m not so sure about that one anymore.

I can make that same food myself, and I can tweak that recipe any way I want to make it as low sodium as I want, but then the convenience of it all is gone. And I only bought it because I needed the convenience.

Of course I can’t say it was my smartest choice of food, but I chose it under the illusion that it was one of two of the lowest-sodium choices available at the moment.


Part of me feels like I know why the company does it. Because frankly if they packed only a single serving of that food in a package, the package would be so small, no one would buy it, they would buy the competition.

But then they go so far as to mark a single serving of calories on the front of the package.

I don’t know if it’s just me, or what, but to me that seems a little misleading.

Sure, it may be in fact very true.

But presentation is everything.

I hope going forward I won’t be so blinded by the size of the packages I’m picking up that I don’t check to see how many servings are contained inside.

Of course from here on out, maybe I should just cook more dinners in advance and have the food sitting in my freezer preportioned and ready to zap in the microwave.

It’s an important lesson to learn for sure.

Especially in a world where portions have grown exponentially.

Sadly enough, my judgment along the way has been equally distorted and I’m trying to refocus that on appropriate portions.

When I was younger, much younger, I would have blushed at the thought of ordering more than one hamburger for myself at the local fast-food joint.

Yet, I don’t know that those same hamburgers have shrunk in size much if any, and for some reason I find myself unsatisfied with the idea of eating those little hockey pucks. That’s a commentary on the size of the food, not the nature if it.

Fortunately, even though I’m writing about hamburgers, I don’t find myself going to the fast-food restaurants much if any now, and if I do, it’s more likely a sub shop where I can get something a little more my speed off of their low-calorie, low-sodium menu.

But before I stopped going to these fast-food dispensaries, I found myself ordering two patties or sometimes three on one sandwich.

I’d sometimes order the giant steak burgers instead too.

Obviously, what seemed like too much a long time ago has become completely acceptable and nary a blush would pass over my cheeks ordering one.

Of course now maybe it would, but only because I might worry that someone might recognize me going through the drive-thru, because I certainly would be sneaking if I did that, because who wants to be the person known to be losing weight that gets spotted in a drive-thru line?

Not me.

It’s fortunately a powerful deterrent.

The fear that maybe one of my fellow TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) members would spot me pulling into the drive-thru line works for me.

Of course early on in my journey, prior to Spark, I did sneak a couple burgers and fries.

It’s easier to justify sneak those things when you’re already not doing as well with the weight-loss as you would like.

But now I’m doing well, so the mindset has changed.

It’s a good thing.

It’s been gradual, but I guess that’s really how lasting change works.

Otherwise it just shocks the system.

I went from someone who tried to hide that I had purchased those giant soda troughs to drink out of to wash down those greasy fries and burgers.

Frankly, I think that drinking out of those giant cups they make now isn’t that much different that drinking out of a trough.

Of course I think it’s so much different if one drinks water out of a cup the size of a trough rather than soda, but that’s partly because the body is already contains so much water as it is. One of these days I’m waiting for scientists to come out and say that the human body has evolved to now contain 70 percent soda.

What a frightening world that would be!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's like trying to read the fine print of a contract! Serving sizes are alot smaller than most of us realize these days.. great blog!
    1938 days ago
    It's amazing how corporations shape (or rather MIS-shape) our perceptions of what constitutes normal food and hydration...!

    Kudos to your vigilance! :-)

    1940 days ago
  • WILLOW49
    emoticon emoticon
    1940 days ago
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