Since the 1950s the portion sizes at fast food restaurants having been increasing and are now 2 to 5 times bigger. Salty snack sizes have also increased and now provide 93 more calories and soda provides on average 49 more calories.
As the portion sizes have increase so has our intake. Research shows that from 1971 to 2000 women increased their calorie intake by 22% and men by 7%. This increase has contributed to the increase in our waistlines. According to the Utah Department of healthy 56.9% of Utah adults are overweight and 22.5% of adult are obese.
It is time that we took control of our weight and our portion sizes.
First, it is importance to become aware of what you are eating and how much. Start by keeping a food diary. A food diary is a record of what you eat, when and how much. You can do this by simply writing it down on piece of paper or you can use an app such as Myfitnesspal or The Super Tracker at www.choosemyplate.gov. Keeping a food diary help us identify problem area’s and help us avoid mindless eating.
The next step is to compare how much we are eating to correct portion sizes.
One way to start is to use the Plate Method. When looking at your plate. Half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables, one fourth the plate should be starch such as potato, rice or pasta, and one fourth of the plate should be a protein such as poultry, fish, lean beef or tofu.
Reading a food label and checking the recommend portion size is a great tool to use. Look at the first line of the label and it will tell you a serving size.
The following provides standard serving size
Standard Serving Size
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of cereal, cook rice or cook pasta
- 6 crackers Vegetables
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
- ½ cup of cooked vegetables
- ¾ vegetable juice Fruits
- 1 medium apple, banana, orange
- ½ cup cut fruit
- ½ cup fruit juice Dairy
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ ounce cheese
- 6 ounce yogurt
- 3 ounces cooked meat, poultry or fish
- ½ cup cooked dry beans
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/3 cup nuts Fats and oils
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon oil
Making a Change
Once you have a record of you food intakre in a food diary and compare you intake to correct portion sizes, the final step is to make any needed changes.
Whether you need you cut back on the amount of snacks you are eating or if you need include more fruits and vegetables, set a goal to improve your portion control.
More tips to helping to maintain portion control
- Eat only if you are hungry: Before you eat a snack ask yourself you are truly hungry our just board, tried, stress or thirty.
- Eat slowly: Take at least 20 minutes to eat a meal. Stop eating when you do not feel hungry not when you are full
- Turn off the T.V.: When we eat while watching T.V. we tend to eat mindlessly which can lead to over eating.
- Eat with family or friends: Conversation can help us slow our eating down.
- Allow second helping only on fruits and vegetables: Not only are they high in vitamins, minerals and fiber but they are low in fat, cholesterol and calories.