Today kicks off week THREE of Nutrition Month! This week’s theme is prioritizing portion sizes to make individuals aware of selecting realistic portion sizes during their 100 Meal Journey. How much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Eating portions that are too big can lead to overeating and weight gain. Here’s a few tips and tricks from Dietitians of Canada and myself to make controlling your portions a bit easier!
1) Give yourself a hand! Size up your portions with handy estimates. Use your hand and try these estimates on for size:
- 1 cup of leafy green veggies or 1 whole piece of fruit = 1 fist
- Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables = ½ fist
- 1 slice of bread or ½ bagel = 1 hand
- 1 cup of milk or ¾ cup of yogurt = 1 fist
- 50 grams of cheese = 2 thumbs
- Serving of chicken = palm of hand
- ¾ cup of pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chick peas) = 1 fist
2) Becoming aware of package and plate/cutlery sizes can help with your portion size journey.
- The serving size on nutrition facts tables for high calorie items can be misleading – that one bag of chips may actually be consider 4 serving sizes or more! Always be aware of the portion size before munching away on pre-packaged snacks.
- Use smaller plates and cutlery to control portions. You’ll eat less food with smaller plates/bowls and a lot slower using smaller cutlery while feel satisfied and full.
- Keep things you’d like to eat in front of you while hiding those not-so-healthy snacks. Place cut up vegetables or a jug of water in front of you as you work to get in that extra serving of veggies or extra hydration from water. Out sight = out of mind for those treat-like snacks – hide them away!
3) Be mindful when eating out. Portions at restaurants can be very large while buffets can make it tempting to eat as much as you can to make the most out of what you spent!
- Eat half of your meal if you’re noticing it is quite large and save the other half as a meal for later. Or ask your server to pack away half your dinner before it comes to your table.
- Choose 3-4 items in a buffet that you can eat rather than having small amounts of everything available – eating little bits of everything can add up really quickly, filling your plate with way too much food! Try choosing the nutrient dense items in the buffet (salads, fresh fruit, grilled meats, etc) rather than those high calorie, energy dense items.
Got any other awesome tips regarding portion size? Post it in the comments section or on social media using the hashtags #nutritionmonth or #100mealjourney! I’d love to know how your progress is going with the small changes you’re making to your 100 meal journey!