If you’re eating a giant salad filled with lettuce, onions and other fresh veggies, you can eat all you want, but still pay attention to how much dressing you’re using, because for most dressings, portion sizes do matter. Eating healthy does mean you can consume a lot of raw veggies and still not worry about whether you’re overeating. In fact, the recommended portions of non-starchy vegetables is five or more servings. So, for non-starchy vegetables, eating enough servings is the only reason to track portions.
Sometimes, you need a treat.
It’s always good to understand portion size, since you’ll be eating more than just non-starchy veggies and fruit. However, sometimes, you want a snack or treat. Nuts are a healthy option, but they’re also loaded with calories. You have to pay closer attention to the amount you eat. Even if you’re eating healthy, there are still temptations and special occasions that can throw you off the healthy eating track. You don’t have pass on a piece of your own birthday cake or say no to other special treats if you keep portion size in mind and do it infrequently.
Peanut butter can be a beneficial snack, so can veggies and dip.
If you use your vegetables as a carrier for mountains of dip or slather the apple slice with so much peanut butter you can’t recognize it, you need to learn portion control. You can use your hands to judge snacks on the go. One serving of peanut butter is two fingers worth. One serving of nuts is a level handful. How much dip you consume depends on how it’s made. If you’re putting cottage cheese in a blender and adding herbs and spices, ¼ cup of cottage cheese is one serving.
Let your plate be your guide.
While eating healthy is extremely important, portion size still plays a role. A good way to measure your portions is by using your plate. Half your plate should be salad and vegetables. A fourth of the plate should be your protein option, whether it’s vegetarian or meat. Complex carbs should also have a fourth of the plate, while high fat foods should only be a teaspoon and a half.
- Starchy foods, such as potatoes, corn and peas use a fist as a measurement for one portion. Use your thumb as your guide to measure fats. For men, it’s two thumbs of butter or other fat. For women, one thumb is a portion.
- It’s hard to stick with portion size when eating in restaurants. Too often, restaurants have larger portions. If it’s offered, ask for a child’s meal or use appetizers, like shrimp cocktail and side dishes, to create a meal.
- Pay close attention not only to portion control and food, but how that food is served. Instead of drinking a ½ cup of fruit juice, you can eat a whole cup of fresh fruit and it’s better for weight loss.
- Always read labels. It’s a great way to see how portion control can affect even healthier diets. Check out how many calories per serving. For potato chips, one serving is 160 calories and is 15 chips. So it’s approximately 11 calories per chip. Most people don’t stop at just a few.
For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training