Obesity is a growing epidemic, as more people than ever are struggling to control their weight. Increased portion sizes are linked to overeating and unwanted weight gain. And research indicates that many factors can influence how much you eat.
People tend to eat almost all of what they serve themselves. Therefore, controlling portion sizes can help prevent overindulging.
Imagine your plate is separated into four equal quarters. Now, apply the 2:1:1 rule. Choose two quarters vegetables to boost nutrition, choose one quarter protein to rebuild and choose one quarter carbohydrate to refuel.
What is a reliable measure of portion size? A good measure of portion size is the palm of your hand for protein and carbohydrates. If it fits into the palm of your hand comfortably, it’s a portion.
For vegetables, be a little more generous. Consider that vegetables contain large amounts of water, so are bulkier. Eat your heart out on fresh vegetables of all colours.
If you’re still feeling hungry after this meal, add a side salad next time. A side salad can be made up of: tomatoes and cucumber with vinegar and oil. Dark green leaves lightly dressed. A small portion of fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut is a traditional side to meals in Asia and Germany.
Planning your plate
How do you plan your plate for the likes of bakes, stews or curries? Think of the 2:1:1 rule when preparing the meal. Are you adding enough vegetables? If your dish doesn’t accommodate that many vegetables then remember to simply add a side salad at the end.
Try to sit down and enjoy your meal. Eat consciously. Chew every mouthful well and make an effort to chew more than you normally would. Put your fork down occasionally and sit back to slow down the speed of your meal. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to send satiety signals, so the more time you take eating, the less likely you are to overeat. You will also improve your digestion and wellbeing after a meal and will avoid that post-meal slump or bloat. Try it, it works!
Check out some of our healthy, nutritious recipes to help you plan your portions HERE.
Learn more about how we can help you create a full health and fitness programme at Gym Plus.