When it comes to your diet, portion control is often forgotten about. Most people focus on eating healthier. While this is good, it is also important to make sure you’re eating the right amount of each food group and the right amount overall as well.
We have all heard that portion sizes have gone up over the past few decades. However, most people don’t realize just how much they’ve gone up by. One study found that modern portion sizes add anywhere between an extra 50-150 calories. Portion sizes started increasing in the 1970s, and grew drastically in the 1980s. Not surprisingly. the rise in portion sizes is in parallel with the rise of obesity in the United States.
Another study found that about 97% of restaurant meals exceeded the amount of sodium, fat, and saturated fat. However, these meals did not reach the daily energy need. So, most meals people get at restaurants are just empty calories.
What You Can Do:
The only way to practice portion control is to first know how much of each food group you should be eating. This practical chart can help you visualize portion sizes:
Every person is different though. So you can also check out the Daily Food Planner from the USDA to personalize a nutrition plan for you.
Other Tips on How to Eat Proper Portion Sizes:
• Use smaller dishes when eating at home
• Pre-measure out portions when bringing food to work or school
• Only eat half the meal at a restaurant and take the other half home
• Do not eat out of bags or containers
• Share desserts
Practice makes perfect. It may seem confusing at first, but with time it will become easy to portion out your meals. If the online resources do not seem to fit your needs, or your diet still does not feel balanced, see your doctor for more help.