Whether you want to lose a few pounds or just maintain a healthy weight, eating proper portions is as important as eating the right foods. According to the National Institute of Health, food portions in America’s restaurants have doubled or tripled over the last 20 years. This alarming statistic directly contributes to the increases in obesity rates among children and adults. With all of the super sized meals we are served, most Americans have a hard time recognizing proper portions and serving sizes.
Portion and serving sizes are often used interchangeably, but actually, there is a difference. A portion is the total amount of food that you eat in one setting. A serving size is the recommended amount of one particular food. For example, the amount of chicken you eat for dinner is a portion but 3 ounces of chicken is a serving. Keeping serving sizes in check helps with portion control.
What are the benefits of portion control?
Too large of portion sizes contribute to indigestion and discomfort. Your digestive system functions best when it is not overloaded with food. Managing portions will help to end cramping and bloating after eating.
Balanced blood sugar
Overeating can lead to a blood sugar imbalance by overloading your body with glucose; which can eventually lead to insulin resistance. Smaller meals will help keep your body functioning properly.
When you eat too quickly, you don’t notice your stomach’s cues that it is full. Eat slowly and pay attention to hunger cues to improve feelings of satiety and ultimately, consume less food.
Eating smaller portions will help with weight loss. Choose balanced meals with proper serving sizes to help cut calories and shed unwanted pounds. To monitor your weight, our Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale helps you track your progress over time. After a brief initial setup, the Tracker will log starting weights of up to 8 users. On each subsequent weigh-in, the scale will display three readings: current weight, weight change from the last weigh in, and total change from starting weight.
When you eat recommended serving sizes, you don’t need to buy as many groceries. Measuring serving sizes will make the package of trail mix or nuts last longer than eating directly out of the container.
How can we eat smaller portions?
Eating proper portions and serving sizes can seem daunting, but there are some simple ways to make it easier.
Reading labels on packaged foods allows you to see serving sizes. For whole foods such as fruits and veggies, sites like Choose My Plate can help you determine sensible portions.
To identify accurate serving sizes, you need to measure them out. Measuring cups and spoons can help, but it can be easy to over fill a cup or spoon. The most accurate way to measure foods is by weight using a digital food scale.
Prepping meals in advance ensures you have healthy meals for the week. Store perfectly portioned meals in single serve containers for grab and go options. For easy pointers on how to get started, check out Healthy Meal Prep Ideas to Save You Time and Money.
Use smaller plates
As plate sizes have increased over the years, so have portion sizes. choose a 9” plate for adults and a 7” plate for children to keep portions under control. Your plate will look fuller; tricking your brain into thinking you have more food.
Keeping a food journal is an effective tool for managing portions. It’s easy to forget snacks or foods sampled throughout the day. Whether you choose to write it down or use an app, such as See How You Eat, you will be able to have a record of what you ate.
Adding extra vegetables to your meals is a great way to fill up without adding extra calories. Start your meals with a salad, top your sandwich with greens and tomato, and add your favorite cooked vegetables in with your morning eggs. For other ideas on how to increase your vegetables, read 25 Ways to Sneak Veggies into Family Meals and Snacks.
Dining out can be a challenge, as many restaurant portion sizes are 2 – 3 servings of food. Sharing food with your dining companion helps keep portions reasonable. You could also ask the server to wrap up half of your meal before bringing it to the table. How to Eat Out Without Sabotaging Your Healthy Habits has more ideas on staying healthy while dining out. Remember, restaurants often offer extras like bread or chips and dip that add extra calories but lack nutritional benefits.
Avoid mindless eating
Everyone is guilty of multitasking. However, try to avoid eating while watching TV or when you’re on the computer. Studies prove mindless eating leads to weight gain so be sure to measure out proper serving sizes and eat your snacks directly from a bowl.
How can we learn portion sizes at home?
Weigh your food with a food scale! Learn what a serving size of cereal looks like or how much 6 ounces of chicken is. EatSmart Products offers four digital kitchen scales to help you monitor your portion sizes and measure ingredients for your recipes. It can be tough to determine which scale will best suit your needs. Meal prep for a family would require a higher capacity scale vs. someone watching carbs or counting macros may do better with a more advanced nutrition scale. To help you decide which scale suits your needs, we’ve listed their key features below.
Meet the EatSmart Food Scales:
The Nutrition Scale instantly calculates the following cardiovascular nutrients: calories, carbohydrates, fiber, sodium, potassium, magnesium, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, calcium, protein, and vitamin K. It also allows you to calculate nutrients for any food with a USDA Nutrition Facts label. The Nutrition Scale stores up to 99 entries for daily or weekly food tracking.
The Precision Elite Scale is perfect for measuring large quantities with its 15-pound capacity. The oversized, durable stainless-steel platform is over 7” wide so it accommodates large mixing bowls and plates and it’s easy to clean. This scale measures accurately to .05oz or 1g so you can be sure your portion sizes are always on point.
The Precision Digital Scale weighs up to 11 pounds in three measurement modes: ounces, grams, or pounds. It has a recessed platform so small foods won’t roll off the scale when weighing them. Sleek and slim, this scale has a small footprint and stores easily in a drawer or cabinet.
The Precision Pro Scale can weigh up 11 pounds and has a 3-minute auto-turnoff feature, so you don’t lose your measurements in the middle of prepping your meal. As will all of our scales, the tare feature zeroes out the weight of a plate or bowl so you don’t have to subtract it yourself.
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