Portion Control Blog

The idea of portion control in America today is almost laughable.  I say almost because if this topic wasn’t so important the portion sizes that come out of most restaurants could be used as a prop in Saturday night live skits starring Fred Flintstone.

Portion controlWhy portion control:   According to Dr. D’Adamo and the Blood Type diet book, you’re belly cannot digest more than 4-6 ounces of protein at a time.  After doing a little more research, several sources agreed with this.  That equates to about 30 – 40 g per serving – just an FYI: 3.5 ounces of grilled chicken is 30.8 g which is about two chicken tenderloins (grilled of course).

One of the signs that you have eaten too much is being tired after your meal.  Being tired could also come from the sugar content being too high in your meal. So either way, cutting back is really something we should all be cognizant of.

Portion control and deck of cards as serving sizeActual sizes: deck of cards, size of fist or palm of your hand (not including fingers)

Tips:

  • Drink half your body weight in water every day but no less that 90 ounces. Many times we eat, but are actually in need of water. Many sites suggest to drink water before eating or after.  But understanding how stomach acids help digestion, don’t drink water before your meal and keep it to a minimum during and after the meal. Because you don’t want to dilute the stomach acids.
  • Stay out of Buffets!
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Ask for a take-out as soon as your meal arrives and pack half of everything you get
  • Don’t skip meals – you know you will eat more when you are “starving.”  And you also know that you will justify having no portion control because you deserve to eat more since you skipped a meal
  • Measure and weigh your food. Get the Lose It! App or use your FitBit app. You will be very surprised on how easy they are to use, but even more eye opening is how fast carbs, grams, calories…add up.
  • Chewing is so important. Portion control will be easier if chewing becomes your priority. You will get more nutrients from your food and more digestive enzymes will be produced for breaking your food down.  When your body receives nutrients, it will not send the “I’m hungry” message.
  • READ LABELS!! Understand what serving sizes are.  (Off Topic Side Note: please read the ingredients, if you can’t read it, don’t eat it)
  • Serving size plates? These kind of seem juvenile, but one portion of protein and the rest veggies seems pretty reasonable to eyeball. (Off Topic Side Note: If you are trying to lose weight stay away from the carbs, and have 2 fruits a day instead. There are more than enough carbs in those fruits and veggies). If you want a few extra carbs make wise choices – not white rice, pasta, white potatoes, white bread, processed boxed carbs.  Try sweet potatoes, quinoa, or brown rice.
  • And, don’t just eat from the bag or box. Measure out a serving or a half serving and put that onto/into small plate or bowl
  • Speaking of dishware: don’t put snacks in clear bowls, you keep seeing it and you will eat more (there was a study done on that – of course). And, eat off green plates, you will eat more veggies – yup someone spent their time on studying that too.

Last but not least, many times portion control is difficult when there is stress.  Mindless eating and continual eating is usual attached to emotions.  So one of the silver linings that could come out of not having portion control and overeating is you will be able to immediately see possible eating triggers that you never realized existed.

Portion control and stress eatingWe all know when we overindulge.  We also know how we physically feel, some guilt might set in, your stomach might be distended or bloated, or you have to get into comfortable clothes when you get home.  Ok…so look back within the last 1-3 hours.  What happened?  Did you argue with someone?  Did something happen at your job? With your spouse? Your kids? And you know what? It doesn’t always mean you grab for junk food when you don’t pay attention to portion control or trigger eat. I once found myself tearing into an orange after an argument with my husband.  It wasn’t a Twinkie but still, I wasn’t hungry I was eating to try and redirect my frustration.

Portion control truly is a challenge for all of us.  We eat out more, we have several food channels we all love to watch and get ideas from and we hate leaving food on the plate because we were all taught to “finish what was on our plate.”  But, we can change our mind set about this topic. Just take small steps and use a few of the tips above a little at a time.