Nutrition Tips - Portion Distortion



Portion distortion is a common problem in our society of big is better! Up-sizing, value meals, double-ups and buy one get one free has conditioned us to expect more. We expect to see a full plate, brimming over with food or extras to accompany the meal such as potato, vegetables, fries or other side dishes. Have you ever considered the effect this may be having on our expanding waistlines? Has your weight loss reached a plateau? Has your weight increased over the winter months when you were eating warm, comforting food? Are you exercising and eating well but still not seeing the results you want? Could the amount of food you are eating be to blame? So how do you know if you are eating too much? Your stomach only has a capacity of 2 cups or approximately 500mL. So if you can't fit everything on your plate into 2 cups, you are eating too much! Do you ever leave any food on your plate? Do you notice when you are full? Do you ever feel hungry? If you think portion distortion could be a problem for you, here are some tips: " Use a smaller plate, most dinner plates are oversized. There is meant to be a large border around the edge of the plate, with the food only sitting in the middle. Oversized plates are trendy, but people are now filling these oversized plates. Try using an entre or salad plate instead. " For meat or chicken use the size of your own palm as a guide. Your steak shouldn't be larger than your hand or take up the whole plate! " The largest portions on your plate should be vegetables or salad. " Always say no to up-sizing or meal deals. " Choose the smallest size possible - often this is medium or regular. " Order an entre instead of a main meal when dining out. " Always share desserts. " Have a look at the nutrition information panel and see how many serves is contained in the packet. While it may be your habit to eat a whole bag of chips or biscuits, this is not the recommended serving size! " When serving your evening meal, portion out all serves and put excess in the fridge or freezer so leftovers are not left temptingly close to hand. " Avoid seconds, or 'I'll just finish it up!' You can always eat it later! Becoming more aware of how much you are eating and paying more attention to your hunger and satiety (fullness) can help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain them. You should eat until you're no longer hungry rather than eating until you're full. You should feel hungry prior to a meal or snack, if you're not hungry at all, don't eat! Click on the satiety scale for a quick guide to your hunger levels. If you are struggling to cut down your portion sizes or need more assistance with knowing how much you should be eating, ask your Dietitian for assistance. Don't let portion distortion stop you from losing weight.