Let’s consider our portion sizes…

It’s not always the foods we choose that are the problem when it comes to managing our weight or our blood sugars.  Sometimes we are just eating too much!  Whether the calories are coming from healthy whole foods or higher calorie foods, any time we eat or drink more energy than our body needs, the extra energy will be stored as fat.

Let’s take a few minutes to consider whether we can start to reduce the amount of food we eat and I will give you a few tips and tricks to make these changes.

Our portion sizes have grown over the last 20 years, so what we believe to be a portion is often 2, 3 or even 4 times the size of an actual serving size. This can lead to an increase in our calorie, fat and sugar intake, and over time, weight gain.


Here are some things to consider when you are eating and drinking foods that are often served in large portion sizes…


What changes can we make?

1. Switch the dishes you use at home: Use smaller plates and bowls.  This will help you to serve yourself less, but it will still look like a good portion of food–it’s trickery for your eyes.

2. Measure out your portions for a few days to see what servings of food look like on your plate.  Aim for at least 1 cup of vegetables (or more if you can), 1 – 1.5 cups of starch with dinner (smaller amounts for women), 3-4 oz of protein for women and about 6 oz protein for men at dinner (3 oz = size of a small deck of cards or size of your palm, thickness of your baby finger)

3. If you are out for a meal, ask for a container to take food home in and put half of your meal in there before you eat your meal.  Yeah!  You get to have a delicious meal twice, and you save yourself cooking for a meal!

4. Avoid having serving dishes of food on the table where you are eating–otherwise known as the See-Food diet.  When it is in front of us, we are much more likely to go for seconds because of the constant reminder that it is there.  If we have to get up for seconds, we may be less likely to do so.  Keep extras away from where you are eating, or even put extras away into the fridge right away to avoid picking at the leftovers after the meal.

5. Along those same lines–avoid going for seconds, or WAIT 10-15 minutes before deciding whether you need seconds.  Give your body some time to register the food you have eaten.  When going for seconds, go for more vegetables first.

6. Eat SLOWLY!  Put your fork down between bites.  Take sips of water between bites.  Use chopsticks.  Enjoy good dinnertime conversations.  Pacing your eating means you are giving your body time to register your fullness.

7. Pre-portion your snacks–put chips, popcorn, candies, chocolates, ice cream etc. into small bowls or ramekins.

8. Limit your food choices–have you ever noticed how much more we eat at a buffet or potluck compared to when there are fewer choices for food?  When we want to try a lot of different foods, the more that is available, the more we will eat, so, have less variety available, avoid buffets, stick with one protein, one starch and 2-3 vegetable options at a meal.  If going to a potluck, bring a healthy food that you want to eat that is packed with vegetables!

Last thing. At meal times, always aim to have half of your plate as vegetables, a quarter of your plate as starch and the other quarter as your protein!!

Make your plate look like this! Keeping in mind that this plate is 9 inches in diameter, compared to most of our plates that are 12 inches or more!!

Now it’s time for you to set a goal.  What is one thing that you are going to do to try to reduce your portion sizes???  Who is brave enough in the group to share their goal and be the first to post a comment on the blog???

Andrea, RD



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