Portion Control Works!
Written by Wendy Corr on January 23, 2019
When most of us sit down to eat, the last thing we want to think about is portion control. But for anyone who is looking to make healthy changes, that’s exactly what they should be doing. I’m Wendy Corr, and in today’s Wellness Tip, I’ll show you why portion control can be the secret to getting your mealtimes under control!
The days when feeling confident about the calorie content or nutrition information of the foods you eat are long gone. In fact, researchers measured typical servings from takeout restaurants, fast food chains, and family-style eateries and found that serving sizes for breads, pastas, and other food choices range between 195 and 700 percent of USDA recommended serving sizes!
So learning what the recommended serving size for a particular food group is important, if you want to rein in your eating and take steps towards a healthier you.
Here are a few simple ways to keep your portions a healthy size. For starters, when you’re at home, measure accurately using tools like measuring cups or a food scale. You’d be surprised to find out how small a cup of cooked oatmeal actually is –or what six ounces of chicken really looks like!
Estimating serving sizes is a useful skill. For example, 1 cup is about the size of a tennis ball; three ounces of cooked meat is about the size of a deck of cards. And an ounce of cheese is about the size of a domino.
When you’re at home, use smaller dishes – or measure what your dishes actually hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held one cup of soup actually holds two, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.
A really useful activity is to make your own single serving packs rather than eating directly from the bag or box. Researchers from Cornell University found that people ate 50% more chips when they were given no visual cues as to how large a portion should be. So if you buy a bag of pretzels or tin of nuts that contains 10 servings, divide the contents of the container into 10 smaller baggies ahead of time.
And starting each meal with a glass of water is a great way to naturally control how much you eat. When you drink a glass of water first, not only are you leaving less room in your stomach for food, you’re also re-hydrating your body. You may find that you weren’t really hungry in the first place – just dehydrated.
Thanks for tuning in to Wellness with Wendy! I love sharing tips and tricks to help you live your best life – so for more health and wellness news and advice, follow my blog on mybighornbasin.com.