Over time, food and drink portions have become larger. This includes many junk foods, such as chocolate bars, soft drinks, muffins, and rolls. The more we are served at meals and snacks, the more we usually eat. With this awareness, and by having a guide to manage portion sizes, we can eat foods in a healthy, balanced way.
What can I do to manage my portions?
• Learn how to visualize a portion or serving size and then control the quantities of food you serve at your meals.
• Avoid skipping meals. If you feel hungry between meals, have a healthy snack. This can help you to avoid getting too hungry, which can lead to over-eating.
• Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with carbohydrate-based foods.
• Avoid eating straight from a packet or fridge to help monitor the amount you eat.
• Serve your meals in the kitchen rather than from shared plates to discourage sneaky seconds.
• Use smaller plates and bowls. Studies show that changing the size of your plate can result in weight loss.
• Wait 20 minutes after a meal before you serve yourself more. It can take a while for your stomach to catch up – if you still feel hungry have a glass of water or extra salad or vegetables.
• When eating out ask for an entrée size or share (a larger meal). You can also ask for a container to-go (if the meal is too large) to take the leftovers home.
• Put leftovers into meal-sized portion containers (before sitting down to a meal) and pop in the fridge for later.
• Create a shopping list and buy only those foods. Remember – never go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
• Keep a food diary for a week to monitor how much you eat and drink in a day. (The MyFitnessPal app is a great tool.)
Below are some quick and easy portioning tricks you can use when in doubt: