Watch Out Those Food Portions!

January is the month of festive season, full of parties with friends and family – and also the risk of gaining weight!

At social events in particular, we often don’t realize how much we eat. Controlling food and beverage portions is one strategy to help navigate the holiday season without packing on extra pounds. Healthy eating is not just about choosing healthy foods, but also about controlling the amount of food portions.

Serving Sizes vs. Portion Sizes:
It is important to choose the right amount of food that best meets your needs and can be a key to help manage your weight.Therefore, a difference between Serving size and Portion should also be known.

Serving size
is defined by cups, ounces, tablespoons, or other common measurements and varies from person to person with age, weight, activity level and Gender. Some examples of serving sizes for dairy are: 1 cup (8 ounces) for milk, 1 cup for yogurt, 2 ounces for processed cheese, and 2 cups for cottage cheese.

Checking out the serving size on a food label is a quick way to know the calories and nutrients in a specific amount of food. But, the serving sizes listed on the Nutrition Facts panels on foods and beverages are based on the amounts people typically consume, not on what they should eat.

A portion is the amount of food you choose to consume at one time. With the passage of time, the portion sizes have been increasing, resulting in increased body weight and obesity. Therefore, it is important to look out for both serving size and portions because if you consume more or less than the recommended, you may get either too much or too less of the nutrients you need.

Do you eat even when you are not hungry? Try these instead:

  • Take a walk
  • Keep yourself busy, play cards or try knitting.
  • Listen music and dance on your favourite beats.
  • When craving hits you, eat low fat snacks such as apple or an herbal tea.

The idea is to keep yourself busy!

Controlling Portion Sizes

It’s not always practical to weigh out and measure foods, try these ideas to control those portions at home:

  • Avoid eating in front of a Television.
  • Pay attention to your food; chew it slowly so that your brain receives a message when your stomach is full.
  • Use small plates, bowls or glasses, which make food portions, look large.
  • Try to eat meals at regular times, skipping foods may make you eat more than required.
  • When carving for snacks, go for fruits, nuts, herbal tea, etc.