Size DOES Matter…

nutrition, diet, portion size, meal size, International Journal of Obesity, balanced diet, dinner plate, eating in restaurants, plate color, plate quadrants, portion distortion, tips from town

…for your dinner plate, that is. This 2010 study published in the International Journal of Obesity (yes, sadly there is a whole scientific journal dedicated to obesity) on the steadily increasing dinner plate size over the years shows just how big our plates (and serving sizes) have become. I’m sure we’re all too aware that our portion sizes are not what they were even a decade ago but today’s average dinner plate is 66% larger indicating that meal portions have grown that much too! In fact, our dinner plates are TOO BIG to fit in a standard 1960’s dish cupboard. Chew on that for a minute.

With media and restaurants pushing larger portions it may be difficult determining what is a true serving size. Click here to get some examples of “Portion Distortions” through the years.

Another BIG (no pun intended) difference between society now and even a few decades ago is the amount of daily physical activity. The majority of occupations today require hours on end of sitting, while in the past, manual labor was more predominant along with the fact that walking was the principal method of transportation.

We are a fast food society in more ways than one but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to its pressures. Here are some tips for properly monitoring portion sizes:

1.  Dinner Plate: Swap out your regular dinner plate for the lunch or sandwich plate  (this is truer to the serving size your body needs). Human nature causes us to want to fill our plate (regardless of size) so go ahead and fill the smaller plate and psychologically you’ll feel fuller too.

2.  Four Quadrants: On that smaller plate, imagine that it is divided into 4 equal quadrants. In one quadrant or ¼ is your ideal portion of protein, the second quadrant or ¼ is your carbs, and the last two quadrants or ½ of your plate is veggies and/or fruits.

3.  Basic White is Your Best Friend: Seeing your food will prevent you from over-serving yourself. When your food blends in with its background (like a darker or patterned plate/bowl) it’s difficult to judge just how much is there.

4. Dining Out/Ordering In:  Because you can’t be certain of the amount of food you get at a restaurant – establish your control and prevent yourself from inadvertently eating too much. Consider ordering from the lunch menu, as the portions (and prices) tend to be less. Share an entrée with someone else especially if you are planning on having an appetizer. No one to share with?  Ask the waiter to bring out a box with your meal and immediately put half into the take home container – or better yet – have them box half the meal for you before they serve it.

With just a few small, easy changes, you can prevent overeating and effortlessly ensure that you’re getting balanced and appropriately sized meals.

 

 

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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