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Double Portion

“After they crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what can I do for you before I am taken from you.’ “So Elisha answered, ‘Please, let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.’”
– 2 Kings 2:9

Last year I wrote an article about how portion sizes have grown significantly during the past 30 years. I mentioned that common foods like bagels, hamburgers, french fries, pizzas and steaks have doubled and sometimes tripled in size and number of calories. It seems that, like Elisha, we always want more. Yet, while Elisha sought more spiritual power so he could speak courageously to God’s people and lead them in God’s ways, we often seek bigger portions of food to satisfy our physical and even emotional hunger.

But at least one major restaurant chain is bucking the trend of oversized portions by giving customers an option. TGI Friday’s surveyed its customers and found that they thought they were served far too much food. In response, Friday’s created 10 dishes (four of its most popular) from which customers can choose to order the standard large portion or take the “right portion, right price” option. This option offers one-third less food at a 40-percent discount.

For example, the “Dragonfire Chicken” dish has fewer than 500 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving. While some contend that this is no more than a marketing ploy, it does send a good message to customers who live in a country that is plagued by health problems due to overeating.

Most people don’t realize that a bagel (5 servings) for breakfast and a sandwich (2 servings) for lunch satisfy all your required grains for the day. If you add pasta for dinner, you’re in way over your head. In her book The Portion Teller, author Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., RD, uses common objects to help you understand serving sizes. From her examples in the chart below, it is easy to see why the actual portions we eat often equal several servings. Can you ever remember eating only a half cup (1/2 baseball) of ice cream? I think I eat that much just serving it to my kids before I eat my own!

The reality is that we are often eating far more than we think in far greater quantities than we need. Hopefully, more restaurants will follow the lead of TGI Friday’s and offer more sensible quantities of food. However, at the end of the day, the responsibility for eating the right amount of food is in your hands. Instead, we should be like Elisha and ask for that double portion of spiritual food so we can walk in God’s power! We can never eat too much of that!

Below are some common objects that will give you visual illustrations of single servings:

 Type of Food

  1 Serving


 Meat or Poultry

 3 ounces

 Deck of Cards

 Fleshy White Fish

 3 ounces


 Rice or Pasta (cooked)

 ½ cup

  ½ Baseball


 1 slice

 CD Case

 Cold Cereal

 1 cup


 Oatmeal (cooked)

 ½ cup

 ½ Baseball


 1 medium


 Hard Cheese

 ½ ounce

 2 Dice

 Ice Cream

 ½ cup

  ½ Baseball

 Baked Potato

 ½ potato

  ½ Computer Mouse

Medical Disclaimer: All information in this article is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition. Always consult a physician or health professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

For more stories about faith and sport, visit, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

Copyright 2007 Sharing the Victory Magazine

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