"Everything in moderation!" This is every dietitian's favorite phrase. Moderate and balance is they key to optimizing your health. When it comes to weight management, moderation is translated into portion control. You should be able to enjoy your favorite foods, but in a moderate and sensible way.
My most recent article for my Long Island Weekly Column talks all about my go-to secrets for mastering portion control. Below is a short excerpt from the article:
In today’s world, we are blinded by fast food and restaurant serving sizes. We have become accustomed to excessive portion sizes and constantly cleaning our plate. Understanding portion control is an important step to improving your overall health. Always know that it’s never too late to learn about portion sizes and take control of your eating habits!
Both quality and quantity play a role when it comes to nutrition. A healthy diet emphasizes whole and natural foods, but also instills a sense of moderation and balance. Too much of anything, even a typical “healthy food,” is never good.
As we get used to extreme portion sizes and start to eat more, our stomach capacity stretches and we become used to this excessive amount of food. Eating more becomes a habit, training the body and brain to consume larger amounts of food. Ultimately, eating in excess of what the body needs will lead to weight gain and extra energy being stored as fat.
A few simple tips can help you get a grasp on portion control. Getting back to simplicity and moderation will help you eat more mindfully and be on the road towards a healthier you!
Understand Serving Sizes
Carrying around a set of measuring cups and a food scale isn’t exactly the most practical thing. Keep these measuring items in your home to properly portion out food. When you are out and about, remember this simple guide that can help you visualize appropriate portion sizes:
3 oz lean meat/poultry = deck of cards
1 c of pasta = baseball
1½ oz of cheese = 3-4 stacked dice
½ c fresh fruit = tennis ball
1 tsp margarine = 1 dice
Track Your Food For A Day
Have you ever tracked your food on a mobile app? Excessive portion sizes can add up, leading to a tremendous caloric surplus over the course of the week. Track your food to get a better understanding of what a typical day of eating looks like for you. You may find that some foods are adding excess calories that you could easily cut out. You’ll also grow a great appreciation for portion control when you see how it works in the big picture.
Put All Snacks On A Plate
The bigger the package, the harder it may be to visualize a portion size. Instead of mindlessly eating out of the bag, portion out a serving and actually put it on a plate! Visualize how much you can eat for the appropriate amount of calories....
Read the full article here: