Size matters... portion size that is!
Most of us are guilty of overindulging in our favorite decadent foods or eating until we feel that the buttons of our pants are about to pop right off. With many super-sized restaurant portions and enormous servings, it’s almost inevitable that we fall into this trap. However, with the proper guidance, game plan, and strategy, we can conquer this super-sized way of life. First off, it is important to understand why it is that we overeat. First and foremost, we eat for nutrition, energy, and to satisfy our hunger. It is when we have fulfilled those needs and keep going instead of knowing when to stop, that we go overboard. It is helpful to understand what kind of eater you are. Do you eat out of boredom, because the food is right in front of you, you don’t want it to go to waste, mindlessly eat, or maybe you are an emotional eater? Identifying which type you are, will definitely help you find the best strategy to kick this habit. Whatever your reason may be, learning the appropriate portion size for your body type is crucial for a healthy lifestyle and proper weight management.
Daily recommended food intake:
True, the Food Pyramid is a bit old school but it still remains a great resource and handy reference. For a more personalized plan and updated guide, visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
A helpful guide for food measurements:
Helpful tips and strategies:
- Eat out of plates, bowls, and cups that match your desired serving size. For example, you can purchase bowls that hold only 1 cup or other containers that have notches indicating various measurements. Eating right out of those measuring tools does the trick.
- Prepare your food ahead of time. Dividing bulk foods into small ziplock bags according to serving size not only helps control how much you consume, but it is also extremely convenient especially when you are on the go. This also eliminates mindless eating straight from a family sized bag of chips, cookies, etc.
- Divide your plate into food groups to make sure you are getting in all your servings of fruits, veggies, protein, carbs, etc. for the day.
- Use smaller plates, bowls, and cups. Using an enormous sized bowl for cereal makes you want to fill the entire thing and you unknowingly end up eating double to triple the amount of an average serving size.
- Use measuring cups- they work!
- Keep a food log to keep yourself accountable. Think, do I really want to have to write down that I ate that spoonful of ice cream?
- Read food labels for accurate serving sizes.
You do not have to eliminate certain foods completely from your diet, but keeping them in moderation as well as everything else is key. As children we have been told that we must “clean our plate” and make sure we eat everything. This is not the case; realize when you are full and when to stop. It is more than okay to bring home leftovers. Remember, everyone is different; find the strategy that works best for you and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you. Finally, the combination of a well-balanced diet along with regular physical activity is the key to an overall healthy lifestyle.
"ChooseMyPlate.gov." ChooseMyPlate.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.
"Dietary Guidelines: Build a Healthy Base." Dietary Guidelines: Build a Healthy Base. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.
"Your Guide To Calories And Portion Sizes." Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.