Health First’s Five Ways to Downsize Your Portions
By Health First // January 2, 2014
take control of your stomach
ABOVE VIDEO: Elizabeth Ward discusses the benefits you can gain from eating smaller portions more often. Video by Jamba Juice TV.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Whether you eat too much healthy food or too much junk food, by the time you feel full, you are probably overstuffed.
If you have problems with portions, listed below are several methods to utilize to take control of your stomach.
A good way to become aware of your hunger level and eating patterns is to keep a food journal. Two excellent options for those of us who have smart phones is the MyFitnessPal free app or the Fitbit app.
SLOW DOWN AND KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL
By keeping a food journal you will start to identify times when you are more likely to choose large portions and times when portion control is not a problem.
This will allow you to plan ahead to avoid excess consumption.
Eating slower at mealtimes can help you eat less, since it takes your brain more time than your stomach to realize that you’re no longer hungry.
Before mealtimes, take the time to plan and prepare healthy meals.
If you eat out, choose a restaurant with healthy options and take the time to visually portion out how much of that meal you really need to eat.
TRY EATING A REAL PORTION SIZE
Does anyone know what a portion size really is? One serving of protein is the size of a deck of cards. And one serving of rice, pasta or cereal is the size of a baseball.
One serving of bread, rice, cereal or pasta is; 1 slice bread, ½ bagel, ½ English muffin, ½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup flake cereal, ¼ cup grapenuts, or ½ cup potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, beans, or ½ cup cooked rice or pasta.
One serving of vegetables is; ½ cup cooked or raw veggies, 1 cup raw leafy veggies, ¾ cup of veggie juice, 1 tomato or 5 cherry tomatoes.
One serving of fruit is; 1 medium piece of fruit, ¾ cup fruit juice (100%), 1 melon wedge, ½ cup berries, ½ cup cooked, canned or chopped fruit, ½ cup dried fruit.
One serving of dairy is; 1 cup milk, 1 cup low or non-fat yogurt, ½ cup low fat cottage cheese, 1 oz. sliced cheese, ½ cup low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.
One serving of protein is; 3-4 oz of meat, 2-3 thin slices of lunch meat, ½ chicken breast, 1 cup beans, 1 egg.
One serving of fat is 1 tsp. canola, olive or corn oil, 1 tbsp. salad dressing, 2 tsp. peanut butter, 1/8 avocado, 5-10 olives, 3 tsp. nuts.
SPLIT YOUR PLATE INTO THIRDS
Imagine your plate with three sections.
Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter of your plate should be for protein, and one quarter of your plate should be for whole grain carbohydrates. (Pasta, Couscous, Bread)
Also use a smaller plate or bowl. Less surface area to fill equals less food to eat.
AVOID PORTION SIZED LANDMINES
Before mealtimes, take the time to plan and prepare healthy meals. If you eat out, choose a restaurant with healthy options and take the time to visually portion out how much of that meal you really need to eat.
• Restaurants: Most of the time, just cut your portion in half, eat half of your meal and take the other half home.
• Bread Baskets: Take one roll and send the rest back.
• Salad Dressings: Always ask for it on the side.
• Beverages: Go for calorie free. (Water or Diet)
• Dessert: Go for fruit, sorbet, or just share a dessert, another option is to simply decline.
• Buffet: Use the same plate principal. Load up on veggies, whole grains and protein. Have little tastes of your favorite foods.