19 May The Importance of Portion Sizes
Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply maintain your current weight, portion sizes matter more than you may think. Americans have a distorted idea of healthy portion sizes and to no fault of our own. According to The National Institute of Health, food portions in America’s restaurants have doubled or tripled over the last 20 years. These portion size increases are a definite correlation to the obesity epidemic we are currently experiencing among children and adults in America. Continue reading to understand the importance of portion sizes and tips.
Benefits of Portion Sizes
- Better digestion: Overeating during meals can put a lot of stress on your digestive system and result in symptoms like bloating, indigestion, and cramping. By controlling your portion sizes, your digestive system can work efficiently to prevent the symptoms that come with overeating.
- Improved Satiety: Satiety simply means to “satisfy hunger”. Many Americans believe that when they are hungry they should eat until they are completely full, however, it is better to eat until hunger is gone.
- Weight Loss: When decreasing your portion sizes, you will begin to consume fewer calories resulting in weight loss and weight management.
- Blood Sugar Balance: Consuming
Tips for Portion Control
- Read labels- Food labels can be misleading at times so be sure that you are reading any label on a package. Many times, you will think that a bag of chips contains only 250 calories; however, there may be 3 servings in the bag which results in 750 calories! Always read your nutrition labels for more than just the calorie count
- Measure your food- Because Americans are used to “Super Size” servings, going back to the basics of measuring out your food is the best place to begin. This will give you a better idea of what portions you should be eating for proteins, fats and carbs.
- Use smaller plates- Using a smaller plate can a lot of times give you the illusion that you are eating more food than you think. Having a lot of extra space on your plate will often make you feel deprived.
- Add more vegetables- Vegetables are often fewer calories but filled with fiber to help keep you full. Try making half of your plate full of colorful veggies!
- Be aware of mindless eating- Often we may think we have decreased our portion sizes but forget about the snacks in between. Be sure to measure out your snacks so you prevent eating the entire bag of chips with guacamole!
- Watch out when dining out- When it comes to eating, we are all guilty of overindulging at times. Treating yourself to a big meal is ok every once and a while but should not become a daily habit.