Will that be a Mini, Skinny, or Fun Size?

Will that be a Mini, Skinny, or Fun Size?

Mini, skinny, and fun size portions are the new fad.  It’s the newest, coolest, and hippest thing on the block these days.  These are the foods and drinks that make you think and feel like you are saving calories, but in reality you most likely are not.  The problem with these so-called “healthy” products is that they often lead to overconsumption.  Instead of having one skinny martini or skinny bellini when eating out at a restaurant you give yourself permission to drink two since it is the skinny version.  Drinking two “skinny” drinks while smaller usually results in more calories than if you consumed one normal size of a regular drink.  Other fun size portions are seen at Starbucks when they introduced their mini frappe this summer, mini McFlurries from McDonald’s, and mini Frosties from Wendy’s.

I am guilty of eating these on rare occasions so don’t feel bad if you do, too!  I was eating some candy minis last night after dinner because this is the time of year for “minis” and “fun size” candy. Halloween brings out these “trick or treat” portion sizes, but they can pose a problem for those of us that love these little portions and grab for the candy bowl throughout the entire month of October and November.  These “mini” and “fun size” candy packets and bars seem to be an excuse for many of us to eat more.  They are small and easy to pop in your mouth and they taste so delicious that you keep going back for more, all while reminding yourself that these are small portion sizes so you can justify eating more.  Am I sounding familiar to any of you?

Treats and other Halloween goodies also tend to be consumed more frequently during the month of October from brownies to graveyard cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more.  All deliciously yummy treats that aren’t always the best choice.  Many people use “alternatives” in these desserts to make them “more healthy” such as applesauce, black beans, quinoa, etc.  This actually leads to overconsumption because people have the mindset that they are eating “healthy” desserts and therefore eat more of them.  In reality, people that consume these “healthier” desserts, fun size or mini candy bars, and skinny drinks actually end up consuming more calories than people who eat desserts that have not been altered to be more “healthy”.   For drinks such as frappes, McFlurries, and Frosties you may not consume more than one, but buy them more often throughout the week causing increased calories or you may use that smaller portion size to rationalize eating more later in the day.

Even as a health, nutrition, and exercise fanatic I can be guilty of this at times!  I once made brownies using applesauce to cut down on the oil and they didn’t cut it.  They seemed mediocre and boring so now I have been making normal brownies since.  They taste better and it is easier to watch my portion size than to justify eating extra brownies because they seem more healthy.

The point is that if you are trying to eat healthy by making “healthy” brownies or desserts, consuming mini, skinny, and fun size portions you probably aren’t doing yourself any favors.  It is actually better to watch what you eat and consume normal sizes rather than eating these smaller portions that tend to cause overconsumption.  That overconsumption leads to more calories and more fat than you might realize so next time you want brownies or something sweet, stick to the real thing instead.  Everything in moderation is a better motto than skinny, mini, and fun size!




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