Whether at home or eating out, it’s all too easy to suffer from “portion distortion”. Even the size of our dinner plates can make a difference. Back in the ’60s, the diameter of the average plate was about 25cm, yet today it’s more like 30cm. According to studies, that can mean a hefty hike in helping size of 60 to 100 per cent. Gulp!
By paying close attention, you can keep your portions balanced and eat more moderately. Make the simple serving checks here a part of your regular routine and, over time, they’ll start to feel like second nature.
Keep fresh food on display
If you put snacks out of sight, you’re more likely to reach for the foods you spot first, so keep fresh fruit out in a bowl on the bench or table, where it’s easily visible. Store sweets and treats in the pantry or in the freezer, so you’re not tempted to grab a handful whenever you see them. Even better, avoid putting them in a clear container so they don’t jump out at you.
Downsize your plates, bowls and glasses
On average, we eat more than 90 per cent of whatever is in front of us, according to US research. By simply using a smaller plate, bowl or glass, you’ll serve yourself less – and effortlessly end up eating less as well.
Plate your food in the kitchen
Family-size platters look bountiful on the table, but they can also make it extra-easy to help yourself to more food – even when you’re not actually that hungry.
Make half your meal vegetables
To really bump up your vegie consumption, fill half your plate with them. With vegies and salad taking up so much real estate, you’ll automatically have less space for foods that are easier to eat too much of, such as pasta.
Portion out your snacks
Put a handful of nuts or dried fruit into a small dish instead of noshing straight from the jar. Cut a few slivers of cheese, instead of a big chunk. Portioning your snacks is a simple way to avoid accidentally overdoing it. And when you know exactly how much you have, you’ll be more likely to eat it slowly and savour each bite by eating mindfully.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 5 Jun 2019