Thursday, March 27, 2008

Portion Distortion

Just look at this picture as I plead my case that portions have been getting larger and larger. For example, an average plate of restaurant pasta is 6 servings of grains according to the Canada's Food Guide and meeting your DAILY requirement for grain products or movie bag of popcorn is ~75% of an adult's daily caloric needs. One problem the gimmics from restaurants of bottomless fries and foutain soda, supersize for 99 cents, buy one get one free, etc. because we want more 'bang for our buck'. The fast food industry is not solely to blame for expanding our portions and waistlines. Our portions can be distorted anywhere we eat. Eating is done in your car, at your desk, in front of your TV, and occassionally around the table. What's the problem with this? First off, while people are eating on-the-go we are more prone to poor food choices. Secondly, our bodies is less aware of hunger signals and how much were actually eating. Our mind has been tricked into thinking our body needs more food than it does. The more that is on our plates the more we end up eating regardless of our hunger. Whether portions sizes are large or small, we need to be conscious of what we allow on our plate and into our mouth.

Tips to start 'undistorting' what we perceive to be a typical portion and begin to listen to our stomachs, not our eyes, to determine when to put the fork down.
1. Eat on smaller plates. This will help you eat smaller portion sizes.
2. Build a healthy plate. Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables or fruits. The other half should be divided equally between meat and grains.
This is the diet plate that was used on Type 2 Diabetics and gave 5% weight loss over 6 months. There are other similar portion control plates available as well.
Pint-sized portions. Remember, children have smaller stomachs than adults and need smaller portions – about half the size of adult portions.
4.Hands up! A small fist equals one cup of food, a thumb-tip equals one teaspoon and three thumb-tips equal a tablespoon.
5.Wrap it up! When eating at a restaurant, ask your server to wrap up half of your meal right away. Not only will you be watching your portions, you'll also have a meal for the next day!
6. Watch children eat. They have no problem leaving half their meal behind because their eat more by their hunger than adults.


Susie said...

this is soo great, I need a healthy blogger. Can we ask questions too? I am so hearing the portion control thing, great tips.

Brooke Clelland said...

For sure questions. It's more fun that way.