Should you be paying more attention to portion size?
When it comes to eating healthily, so often the focus stays fixed on what we’re eating. What’s often left out is how much we eat.
To reap the benefits of a healthy diet, eating the right amount of food for your body can be just as important as the right type of food. And the right amount varies hugely with our age, sex, level of physical activity, and life stage.
While it can certainly help to have a basic grasp on serving sizes and recommended daily energy intakes for your body, getting caught up in exacting calorie counts and measuring cups for every meal is not only not a particularly fun way to eat, it can be problematic and may lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
So where does this leave us? If you’re looking to give your body all the nutrients it needs while maintaining a healthy weight, these tips tackle both ends of the stick.
When in doubt: veggies
A general rule of thumb that can be helpful for healthy eating AND correct portioning is to first load up your plate with plenty of veggies – they should take up at least half of your meal. In reality, most of us don’t actually eat enough veggies, so you can pretty confidently eat as many of them as you feel you need!
A lean protein (try chicken, fish or tofu) should take up no more than a quarter of the rest of the plate, while a complex carb (think sweet potato, brown rice, grainy bread or wholemeal pasta) should take up no more than the other quarter.
Use a smaller plate
On plates, giant dinner ones for every meal will likely encourage you to eat more than you probably should. Choosing smaller plates and bowls can encourage a more mindful portion size.
Slow it down
Did you know it can take your body up to half an hour to realise it’s actually had enough food? Eating more slowly and mindfully and resting between firsts and seconds will allow your tummy to catch up with your brain.
Love your leftovers
We love meal prep as much as the next person (who doesn’t love cooking once and eating multiple times?!) The trick here though is to portion the meal into your eat-now plates and eat-later Tupperware as soon as it’s ready, which will remove that temptation to go another round.
Go small or go home
When eating out, it can be tempting to upsize or order the extra side. Stick to small or regular size meals and refuse that cheap upgrade. Cooking most of your meals at home from scratch can also help with portion control, mostly because you know exactly what’s in there.
Indulge in better-for-you treats
Banning foods entirely is often a one-way ticket to binge town. While we should limit our intake unhealthy food and drinks (which are often packed with calories and devoid of nutrients), choosing the occasional better-for-you treat option can reward healthy eating behaviour and help keep us motivated to stay on track.
Luckily, we’ve got a stack for you to try right here, which feature our low-cal, all natural Lakanto sugar substitutes! Because life should be a little sweet!