One of the reasons for our obesity crisis is what is known as ‘portion distortion’. Many of us have lost sight of what is a normal serving of food. This is not helped by ‘portion inflation’ at restaurants and takeaways.
While ‘supersize’ is clearly not a good idea, it can be difficult to work out how much we should actually be eating. Here are some ideas to help.
The average human being needs between 2000 and 2500 calories of energy a day. This should come from a selection of food providing fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. In addition we need water and dietary fibre.
The rough proportions of nutrients should be 35% fruit and veg, 35% starchy foods and 20% protein, plus 10% that gives calcium and a little fat.
Examples for carbs per meal are 40g of cereal (measure it out, it is less than you think), one slice of bread or toast, four or five new potatoes and six tablespoons of rice or pasta.
Other comparisons are a piece of meat the size of a pack of cards, two eggs, a piece of fish the size of your palm or a handful of nuts.
Slow down! It takes some time for your stomach to tell your brain ‘enough, thanks’, so give it a chance. Also make sure you aren’t mistaking thirst for hunger – have a glass of water.
Portion control does not mean food waste. Almost all leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen for another time. Especially if you are feeding children, don’t plate up too much at once. People can always come back for more if they really are still hungry.
Pay attention to your food. Mindless eating in front of screens (phone, cinema or television) is an easy way to eat far too much.
Try these ideas, and right portions should start to feel more natural. Your waistline will thank you!
it is a bit frightening how much some people overeat - even good food will make you fat if you take on too much! Fortunately the exception seems to be vegetables where most of us can eat lots.
ok, I don't have kids so I can't comment - but the amount of food they waste is appalling! Is there a reason that parents don't put out less? (I realise that restaurant kids portions are crazily large, that is also daft)
oops! Revised breakfast tomorrow morning!!