Portion size tips

How important is portion control?

Over the years our portion sizes have become considerably larger and our perception of what we think is normal has become tainted. We pile our plates high and fill our glasses to the brim ignorant to the fact that we are consuming way more calories than our bodies need. Supersized portions equate to supersized bodies so there is little wonder that we are becoming more obese a nation. What is more concerning is that we have the second largest obesity problem in the world, the USA being number one. Obesity related diseases such as insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer is on the rise as is the dial on our bathroom scales.

How important is portion control? Eating healthily includes eating healthy portion amounts. If our portions are supersized it can lead to consuming too many calories which can lead to weight gain even with supposedly healthy foods. High fat and high carbohydrate foods such as coconut oil, nuts, oils, rice, quinoa etc when eaten in excess will contribute to weight gain.

Even with a super healthy meal, is it possible to overdo it?

We can easily over eat healthy foods particularly avocados and nuts which have a high fat content and therefore very dense energy (calories). If we eat too many calories which include healthy calories we can put on excess weight. Eating too much of the same food e.g. nuts (nut milks, nut butters, raw nuts, nut raw food bliss balls etc.) can also lead to toxicity issues. These foods can contain high amounts of salicylates and phytates which can lead to allergy type symptoms and even potential nutrient deficiencies when eaten all the time.

My top 5 portion control tips For healthy portion guidelines check out my protein, carbohydrate and portion control fact sheets.

  1. Keep protein amount to the size of the palm of your hand

  2. Tip of the finger = serve size of butter

  3. Avocado = ¼ of an avocado per serve

  4. Cheese – no more than the size of a match box

  5. Keep a ½ cup measure handy and use to measure out a portion of cooked rice or pasta

Top tips for making meals more filling and satisfying?

  • Choose to eat from smaller plates and bowls. The larger the plate, the more food you are likely to put on it. Using a smaller plate gives the illusion of a larger amount of food.

  • Use vegetables as a base to all meals such as greens, salads, roast veggies, zucchini spirals. This adds important vitamins, minerals and fibre keeping you fuller for longer whilst keeping the calorie intake low.

  • Eat as much green salad such as greens, lettuce, rocket, cucumber, and zucchini as you like to bulk up the meal.

  • Keep starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potato and beetroot to the recommended serving size and fill up on low calories nutrient rich vegetables such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli.

  • Measure out breakfast cereals such as oats and museli to avoid eating double the recommended portion size.

  • Add herbs for flavouring but keep fats, protein and carbohydrates to the recommended portion size.

  • Remember all foods are permissible when eaten in small amounts. Allow yourself a little bit of everything and not too much of any one thing.

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