Simple Habit to Better Health #15 – Watch Your Portions

By October 28, 2013Good Health

Portion control can be a challenge for all of us especially in today’s society where food is aplenty. I find that most people eat quite well but find controlling their portion sizes difficult. So how much do you actually need to eat and what are some tips to keeping portions down?

How much is enough?
– About a palm sized serving of meat, chicken, or fish for lunch and dinner
– 2 pieces of fruit per day (really no more than this unless you are particularly physically active as this adds extra natural sugar)
– a matchbox size of cheese (allowed 1-2 serves cheese per day)
– a tennis ball sized serve of carbs incl rice and pasta (allowed about 2 serves per day)
– 2 slices of bread is a serve (allowed about 2 serves per day)
– 2-3 cups cooked veges or 4-5 cups salad per day
– small bowl of cereal per day
– small handful of nuts per day (about 20)

Tricks to portion control:
– Eat off smaller plates. This tricks the brain into eating less.
– Fill at least half of plate with salad or non-starchy veges (since we eat with our eyes and not our stomachs the trick is to fill your plate with these lower calorie foods)
-One quarter of plate can be starch incl rice, potatoes, corn, pasta
– One quarter can be the protein (meat, chicken, fish, tofu, lentils/beans)
– Drink from tall skinny glasses instead of short wide glasses as these look fuller
– Waterdown fruit juice or better still avoid completely and choose whole fruit instead (avoids extra natural sugar)
– Keep healthy snacks readily available incl nuts, fruit, vege sticks
– Choose a salad option with dressing on the side when dining out
– Choose a non-creamy soup as an entree instead of fried options eg miso, consume,
– Choose pre-packaged smaller party-sized servings of chocolate and sweets
– Drink a large glass of water before a meal which can curb appetite

Hopefully with these simple tips we may all find controlling portions a little easier.