Portion control is recognised as a huge part of a healthy diet. We have lost track of how much of everything we’re meant to consume and it’s a common thing to see food portions that are verging on gargantuan. This is especially common in fast food restaurants as well as some ordinary eating establishments…the “all you can eat” style buffets which are growing more and more predominate are not helping the situation at all.
Today so much of the pleasure of eating is concealed by sheer amount…the higher the plate is piled, the more times the cup is refilled are too important to too many people and this habit of over-consuming is becoming the norm.
To re-educate and to reform healthy patterns of eating are an urgent need not only for your health but that of your children if you have them. Many people eat more than three times the amounts of protein, carbs and dairy in one meal and this is a recipe for long term health disaster.
Portion Out Your Food
Start talking about portion control and portion measurement though and many people begin to yawn, “Oh I don’t want to mess about with scales every time I want a sandwich!” they cry…but the fact is that they don’t need scales or a specially marked plate in order to get their portion sizes right…all that’s needed is a hand!
The following guide will help you to measure the right portions for your meals with the minimum of fuss and effort.
- Carbs: To measure carbs in the correct fashion you use the size of your fist as a guideline. Close your fist…this is how much rice, beans, lentils or pasta you should eat in one sitting. If you want to measure slices as in bread or pitta then open your hand…that’s it! That’s the amount of bread you should consume in one meal.
- Proteins: Look at your palm…this is how much meat or cheese you should be consuming at your meal. Not more…if the slices are thick then you should only have one. If they’re very thin like some hams for example then two is ok.
- Milk or yogurt: Look at the distance from little finger to thumb…this is the depth of the glass or cup which you should consume of milk or yogurt; it’s about 8 fluid ounces.
- Good fats: By good fats we mean olive oil, almond butter or avocado. For this measurement you look at your thumb…it’s about a tablespoon’s worth.
- Nuts and seeds: Because nuts and seeds are excellent foods you can have a whole palm full of them. Similar to meat and cheese…this is about 3 ounces.
- Vegetables: Again this is measured with a closed fist. If you’re eating salad or green vegetables then you can have more.
Using this simple measuring tool you can simplify the healthy eating process and quickly work out your portion sizes. Because our hands relate directly to our size, you should take this into consideration when preparing food for children and also for men and women. Men’s hands are larger and children’s hands are obviously smaller.
But Won’t i Feel Hungry?
Don’t worry that you will still feel hungry because a balanced diet teamed with plenty of water will ensure that you aren’t…your body and stomach may take a while to adjust but adjust it will…as will your waistline!