In a society where super sizing
your meal is acceptable, its no wonder that 34% of adults over the age of 20
are overweight based on the 2007-2008 CDC obesity survey. The American mentality of increasing
your portion size for a few more cents is gravely off balance to maintain a
healthy body. However, fast food has become a main staple in our diets because
it’s fast and easy. The problem is it isn’t nutritious and it doesn’t fill you
up so people continue to eat and eat which just causes us to pack on the pounds.
Diets don’t help either because they include eliminating certain foods,
restricting calories or avoiding food altogether. Deprivation kicks in causing
you to over indulge when it comes time to eat. For anyone who is looking to
become healthier, fitter and eat more nutritiously it all boils down to portion
control and sticking to serving size.
control and serving size may sound easy but when it comes down to it most
people are overeating at every meal.
When you consume too many calories you gain weight. The extra food that
isn’t turned into energy is stored as fat. But how do you know how much to eat
at each sitting? Most people won’t sit down and count their calories to make
sure they aren’t consuming too many or even look at the back of their food
packages to know how many servings they are eating. But sticking to serving
size doesn’t have to be difficult. By know and understanding portion control
and serving size you can stop over eating at every meal.
many people they eat until they feel full or allow their eyes to determine how
much they will eat. Rather they should base their meal on proper serving size
and portion size. Serving size is easily determined by package labeling. On
every food product there is a serving size on the label that tells you what the
serving size is. Normally found at the very top of the label with the calories,
percentages, and ingredients beneath it. The serving size determines how many
calories, fat, protein and cholesterol are in each serving and it also tells
you how many servings are in the entire package. For example if it says 1
serving is 1 cup and it is 150 calories and there are 2 servings in the
package, then if you eat the whole package you actually are consuming 300
calories. For people who don’t look at the label or don’t understand what it
means they could be over eating at every sitting. It’s important to regulate
how many servings your consuming so your not taking in extra calories,
especially when you’re snacking.
may be wondering about how to determine serving size when it comes down to
foods you make at home such as meats, cheeses and fruits and vegetables.
Although making meals at home tends to be much more nutritious and healthier
than fast food, eating too much can have the same effect on the body causing
extra calories to be turned into extra pounds. That’s why portion control isn’t
just about super sizing at the drive thru. Portion control teaches you how to
determine how much of each food group should be on your plate and what a serving
of each food group looks like. Based on the USDA fruits, vegetables, grains,
proteins and dairy should be split equally at each meal. This means that half
your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, proteins should be
lean, 1/2 your grains should be whole grains and swap dairy products to fat
free or low fat. The daily
recommendations are as follows for the average adult: fruits 2 cups, vegetables
2 1/2 cups, grains 6 ounces, dairy 3 cups, and protein 5 1/2 ounces.
now that you know how much you need throughout the day, how do you determine
how much to put on your plate (without having to pull out your measuring cups
and spoons)? This is how people get in the most trouble because they have never
been told the equivalent size of what their putting on their plate, they just
pile on the food. To understand portion size you need to associate measurements
with common day items. For example 3 ounces of meat is approximately the size
of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A baseball is equivalent to 1 cup
of food (i.e. fruits, vegetables) or a medium sized apple. A tennis ball is
equal to 3/4 of a cup. A light bulb or a computer mouse would equal 1/2 cup.
And an egg would be equal to 1/4 cup. A poker chip is equivalent to 1 tablespoon.
One ounce of cheese is equal to 4 dice stacked together. Two teaspoons is the
size of a ping-pong ball where as 1 teaspoon is equal to the tip of the thumb.
Use common every day objects to start portioning out your meals. Remember to not oversize your portions and don’t eat past the point of feeling full. Eat slowly and chew your food. This will help you to feel fuller, longer which discourages overeating. With these tips and tools you can successfully stop overeating and become healthier.