By Fit3 Head Coach Tina Van Horn. This post was adopted from Reliv International.
Think you know what a portion of peanut butter looks like? Two tablespoons isn’t very much when you start smearing it on your bread. How about an actual serving size of ice cream? Who really only eats half a cup? That’s like three bites. And let’s not even talk about cereal. . . there’s an awful lot of room left in the bowl if you play along with what the side panel of the box says is a serving.
Portion distortion is a real thing. We have become so conditioned to the over-sized helpings served in restaurants that we have no basis for what is the reality when it comes to a reasonable serving size. There are so many packaged convenience foods and beverages that we think are single servings but actually contain two or more servings. We consume the whole thing anyway because we have been led to think a serving is MUCH larger than what it actually is. Always read labels! Even if you think you know how many servings there are in that little package of mixed nuts at the checkout, always check the label. You will probably be shocked!
One of the easiest mistakes to make is not understanding proper portion sizes. When you are getting started, I highly recommend using a food scale for a few weeks until you have overcome the propaganda from the food marketing industry and you get a handle on what is sensible. Every couple of months I get out my food scale and bring myself back to reality because we do have a tendency to wander off. What foods haunt you when it comes to sticking to a single portion? You already know mine: peanut butter, ice cream, and cereal. Funny how none of us have that problem when it comes to a salad!
Here are some simple changes you can make in 2019 to make this your year!
- Pack your lunch instead of eating out. This will not only be better for your diet, but also for your wallet!
- Make a delicious dessert-inspired Reliv shake instead of sugary alternatives. There’s no better way to end a meal than with the best core nutrition available.
- Walk while you talk. Get moving during your meetings and phone calls to minimise your inactivity.
- Squeeze in a 30-minute workout during your lunch break. This solves your problem of not wanting to wake up earlier or being too tired after work.
- Meditate for five minutes. Whether it be in the morning or during the workday, or even at night, taking the time to reflect on your day and just being present makes a big difference to your overall mood.
- Set a kitchen curfew. Don’t eat after a specified time you have set for yourself. For example, I try not to eat past 8pm.
- Tweak a favourite recipe by replacing or reducing added sugar and unhealthy fats, even if that simply means drinking your coffee black or using dates to sweeten your favourite treats.
- Track everything you eat for just one day. Keep a notebook and you’ll be surprised by the amount of “just one bite” or samples sneak into your day.
- Use a smaller plate at meal times. This classic trick will help you train your brain to be better at controlling portion sizes.