Portioning Your Meals

Repost from city of Everett Wellness Tips:

Healthy Portions of Food

Have you noticed that the size of muffins, candy bars, and soft drinks has grown over the years? How about portions of restaurant foods like pasta dishes, steaks, and French fries? As portion sizes grow, people tend to eat more than they need to stay healthy.  Super-sizing it is a sure way of super-sizing us.  Larger food portions can lead to weight gain, which can lead to weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

Managing our weight requires our watching what we eat and choosing a healthful variety of foods like vegetables, fruits, grains (especially whole grains), beans, and low-fat meat, poultry, and dairy products.  We also need to govern how much and how often we eat.  We don’t need to measure and count everything we eat for the rest of our lives, just long enough to recognize standard serving sizes.

Try these other ideas to help control portions at home:

  • Take a standard serving out of the package and eat it off a plate, instead of eating straight out of a large box or bag.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV or while busy with other activities. Pay attention to what you’re eating and fully enjoy the smell and taste of your foods.
  • Eat slowly so your brain can get the message that your stomach is full.
  • Take seconds of vegetables or salads instead of higher-fat, higher-calorie parts of a meal such as meats or desserts.
  • When cooking in large batches, freeze food that you will not serve right away. This way, you won’t be tempted to finish eating the whole batch before the food goes bad. 
  • Try to eat three sensible meals at regular times throughout the day. Skipping meals may lead you to eat larger portions of high-calorie, high-fat foods at your next meal or snack.
  • Keep snacking to a minimum. 
  • When you do have a treat like chips, cookies, or ice cream, eat only one serving, eat it slowly, and enjoy it!
  • Is getting more food for your money always a good value? Getting a larger portion of food for just a little extra money may seem like a good value, but you end up with more food and calories than you need.
  • Before you buy your next “value combo,” be sure you’re making the best choice for your health and your wallet. If you are with someone else, share the large-size meal. If you are eating alone, skip the special deal and just order what you need.

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