19 Aug The top 5 tips for portion control
Most people say they eat healthy but it is their portion control which often lets them down. I find people know what is good and what is bad for them but when it come to exactly how much they should eat, they are really not sure.
So here are my top 5 tips to help you eat the right amount of food to keep you lean and healthy.
1. Use your plate
If you divide your plate into quarters, half of your plate (two quarters) should be vegetables (think variety and colour). One quarter of your of your plate should be good-quality carbohydrates (such as potato, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, couscous, quinoa) and the other quarter should be lean protein (like lean meat, poultry, eggs or legumes).
2. Snack servings
If you are hungry between main meals choosing a snack is a good idea to keep you going. But portion control plus having a snack that is nutritious and keeps you fuller for longer is critical to avoid any added kilos.
You can’t go wrong with fruit, low fat yoghurt, wholegrain crackers or nuts. As for how much, the following is a good guideline:
- Fruit – medium banana, apple orange, 2 small fruits (kiwi fruits, small apricots), 30g of dried fruit (4 dried apricots, 1 ½ tablespoons of dried fruit),
- Yoghurt – 200g, or try 1 cup (250mls) of milk (choose mostly reduced fat) 2 large or 4 small wholegrain crackers – enjoy with tomato, hummus, tuna, salsa or a small amount of cheese or avocado,
- A ‘handful’ of nuts (30g) – i.e. 20 almonds or peanuts, 15 cashews or 9 walnuts.
3. Use your own hands
- One palm of protein dense food with each meal such as steak, chicken, tofu or two eggs eaten two to three times a day,
- Two fists of “nom-starchy” vegetables with each meal such as broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, mushrooms, asparagus, carrot, tomato, cucumber),
- One cupped handful of carb dense food with most meals such as brown rice, cob of corn, potato, wholemeal pasta, 2 slices of wholegrain bread,
- One entire thumb of fat dense foods such as nuts, feta, cheese, olive oil and avocado.
4. Time to downsize your crockery
Have a look at your own plates, bowl and cups. Now compare them to the plates and bowls from years ago – modern bowls and plates are so much larger and bigger than they used to be. Go into an antique store and see how small crockery is compared to todays. You can see why overeating is such a common issue (especially when we are taught to eat everything on our plate).
Invest in smaller plates, bowls and lunchboxes. Oversized plates often encourage us to fill them more which may lead to over eating. Or consider using a pre-marked plate which makes it makes it even easier to serve up the right portion sizes.
5. Use kitchen scales
Now you know how I feel about bathroom scales (read my previous blog on why you may want to ditch them) but when it comes preparing your meals, a small set of kitchen scales can really help you stay on track. Guessing yourself can be hit and miss and you may up eating more or less than what you need and this will slow down your progress. Investing in a set of electronic kitchen scales can seriously help you when it comes to portion sizes.