Saturday, 4 January 2014

Portion Size then vs now / Increasing Portion Sizes

Suzy Dorning
We all require a little assistance from time to time when it comes to weight loss. There are so many different ways to achieve the same goal but portion control is perhaps the most obvious but understated path to permanent weight loss.

Controlling how much we eat is a problem for most of us; unless you happen to have a bird's appetite. My dear departed Mother was one of those people who really wasn’t that interested in food. She used to say, “we should eat to live” not “live to eat.” But for most of us food is one of life’s pleasures and with so much choice all around us in supermarkets, coffee shops, restaurants and fast-food outlets we have never had it so good and that is why we need to use self-control if we're going to live long healthy lives. Invariably the portions are huge and the increasing portion sizes are definitely getting bigger even though we may not notice. 

Now I am not a Doctor but I am passionate about health and well being and keeping fit. My quest is to pass on knowledge I have gained through personal experience to other ordinary people just like me who are looking for answers.

Yes, a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential if we want to improve our well-being and an important combination to weight loss. However, there is something else we can do to help us from gaining weight and that is 'Portion Control'. In point of fact it is vital in maintaining a steady weight. Our stomach is only as big as our fist so imagine what happens when we jam all that food down our gullet. It wrecks havoc with our digestive system and all those extra calories turn into fat. Imagine stuffing a cushion until it bursts at the seam – well that's what we're doing to our poor bodies.  The more food we eat, the more our bodies get used to it and the bigger we get. So how can we help ourselves if we don't have strong will-power?

Eat from smaller portion control plates and drink from smaller glasses
The size of our plates to the shape of our glasses may be telling us to eat and drink more. What happens when we have a bigger plate? We fill it, the same with drink especially alcohol. It's known as 'Portion Distortion' and our crockery and glassware could be conspiring against us. What looks like a hearty meal on a small to medium sized plate can look like a mere snack on a large one. So what we do is fill up the plate and it's an example of how some of the important choices we make are done subconsciously. According to Professor Brian Wansink, author of 'Mindless Eating', “Each of the innocuous looking items on the table – packages, dishes, glasses and the variety of foods – can increase how much we eat by more than 20%.”

Different colored plates can help
Studies show that people put less on their plate if the color of the food contrasts with the plate. The contrast is more like a 'wake-up' call to the brain, making us more aware of portion size.

Use smaller serving spoons
By using smaller serving spoons we fool ourselves into thinking that we are getting more food when in reality we're probably not.

Portion size then vs now -No serving dishes on the table
In the past we were brought up to sit at a dining table which invariably meant the dreaded serving dishes at the table. It is too tempting to serve 2nd helpings when food is accessible on the table. It is better to serve up individual servings in the kitchen. It requires a little more effort to go to the kitchen for additional food so this will help portion control.

Weighing food is better than guesswork
Pasta, rice and potatoes are the foods we tend to over indulge in. We need to control our measurements. It’s all too easy to run riot when preparing dishes made with these foods. 75 g of rice or pasta is sufficient per person and 100 g of potato.

Individual Servings
Instead of buying lunch at work make up individual boxed portions of tuna pasta salad or chicken salad etc. at home. Plan the menu ahead and keep in the fridge ready to go. It will be far healthier and cheaper.

Of course it is much easier to eat less in the summer months than in the wintertime when we need more insulation and tend to do less exercise. All those stews and stodgy puds are delicious but there is no excuse for being a glutton. We should still watch our intake.

When all is said and done portion control is a routine we should all adopt if we want to get back on track to where human beings should be – healthy and fit not unhealthy and overweight with far too many of us today suffering from obesity.

Click here >Portion Size then vs now< to find more information or why not check out my website by going over to>Fitness Program for Weight Loss< or > <