The following post was written by the Nutrition Services Department at Woman’s Hospital.
When it comes to food, there is one simple rule: We eat what’s on our plate.
A common trend today is an increase in portion sizes on our plate. But more food coupled with our nutritional need staying the same has resulted in our waistlines expanding, bringing a decrease in our health and an increase in diseases like diabetes.
In this age of “supersized” foods, one way to combat the jumbo trend is disciplined portion control. It’s easy to gauge how much is too much and what is just right with a few easy tips.
When eating at home, use a small plate or bowl, sitting down and minimizing distractions as much as possible. Eating out of a package or large dish can lead to uncontrolled portions; especially while also watching TV, or checking email.
When eating out, consider sharing a meal, or asking for a to-go box in the beginning of the meal to put away half before you get started. Order small, never “super-size”. Fill up on lower calorie foods before a meal, such as a side salad, fruit cup, or broth-based soup.
Try a snack or two each day to keep hunger in check. And make sure you drink plenty of water every day, as it is common to mistake thirst for hunger.
For an individualized meal plan to meet your personal weight management goals, schedule an assessment with a registered dietitian at Woman’s Health Center.
If you don’t want to pull out a scale and measuring cup with each meal, these simple guidelines can help you estimate how much is on your plate.
3 ounces meat = 1 deck of card
1 cup of pasta = 1 baseball
1 1/2 ounces of cheese = 3 dice
1 baked potato = computer mouse
2 tbsp. peanut butter = 1 golf ball
1 cup of salad greens = 1 baseball
1 tsp. margarine = 1 dice
1 medium apple = 1 tennis ball