Healthy Tip for the Month: Portion Control

Americans’ portion sizes have increased tremendously over past 20 years
and so have our waistlines. For example, what used to be a standard sized soft
drink at 12 ounces is now 20 ounces. That 8 ounce difference is a total of 100
calories. That may not seem like very much, but an extra 100 calories per day
amounts to about 10 pounds per year in extra body fat! It is easy to fall into this
trap since a lot of foods come in larger packages than 1 serving. Here are some
general guidelines to follow so that you can control your portions.

1. Measure your food. Measure a serving size of your food according to what
the package considers to be a serving and place it on a plate or in a bowl so that
you can see how much space it takes up. Compare that to your typical portion
size.

2. Read the food label. Check the serving size of a food item and find out how
many servings are in one container of your food. All food labels have this
information as part of their nutrition facts panel.

3. Use smaller dishes. Smaller dishes give the illusion that you are getting
more food than you actually are.

4. Leave your food serving dishes off the table. It takes more effort to get up
and head for seconds that you may not actually be hungry for.

5. Focus on your food. Try to avoid distractions such as television while you
are eating. This causes you to lose focus of what and how much you are eating.

6. Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send the message to
your stomach that you are full. If you eat slowly, you may find that you don’t
really need to eat as much as you thought to feel satisfied.

For a fun way to test your “portion distortion” knowledge and compare portion
sizes to serving sizes, go to the following web site
http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion. You can take the portion distortion quiz
yourself!

Click Here to take the Portion Distortion Quiz!