Do you know what an ideal portion size is? It is very confusing sometimes… To make it even more confusing, portion size depends on your size.
Unfortunately, portion sizes have been growing steadily everywhere over the past 30 years, which can make it very difficult to figure out what an acceptable portion really looks like.
What is a perfect portion? A portion of fruits or veggies is usually one handful. If you are tall, the size of your hands are likely to be bigger than a shorter persons. Therefore 1 portion for you will be slightly bigger. If however we are talking about full meal size, it should be the size of both of your hands put together.
We have 6 tips for you to ensure that your portion size is correct for you, your size and your goals.
- The palm of your hand can be used as a visual aid to determine an adequate portion of meat. The thickness of your palm must also be considered. As mentioned, correct portion sizes vary from person to person depending on such factors as level of activity, height, age, and muscle mass.
- Don’t put too much food on your plate. You should begin by helping yourself to the amount you need to eat, keeping in mind that you can always go back for more.
- Cut portions in half. If your usual portions are too large, cut them in half. You may find that by allowing yourself time to feel satiated, you won’t even be hungry enough for the second half.
- Get the ratios right- This is extremely important for health. Ensure that half your plate is vegetables, one quarter is protein and one quarter is complex carbohydrates.
- Time of day- Ideally breakfast should be the largest meal of the day and our evening meal should be the smallest. This is so that breakfast can provide the nutrients to power us through the day.
- For fat loss- Decrease your maintenance portion size by 15%. This should lead to weight loss at a rate that is safe for the body and should lead to weight loss that stays off. It is recommended that you decrease the carbohydrate portion rather than the protein or vegetable amounts.
- For weight gain – Increase your portion size by 15%. Try to increase all three components of your meal equally. The extra protein will help with increasing muscle mass, the complex carbohydrates for extra energy and the extra vegetables will provide increased nutrients for increased metabolic functions.
- Don’t go for “super-size” in fast-food restaurants. Resist getting a bigger size even if it’s a better deal. Also, keep in mind that fast food is made up of “empty calories.” You’ll consume a lot of them and still be hungry a short time later.
- No more all-you-can-eats. It’s much harder to practice portion control when it’s “all-you-can-eat.” Avoid them altogether if you don’t think you have the willpower to limit the amount of food you eat.
- Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for the signal indicating that you’re full to go from your stomach to your brain. If you are slow down, you will avoid overeating.