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Creating a Balanced Menu: Let’s Focus on Portions

Uncategorized Jan 13, 2020

Serving size, portion size, plate size. It can all be a blur and super confusing. This week we are going to set the record straight.  We are going to talk portions! I am not a doctor and you may need something specific for your health but overall, we don’t always do a great job and portioning our meals. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to tell you that you are full from eating. That means we need to be a lot more thoughtful when eating each meal. By following these simple guidelines you will be able to better identify a healthier way of eating. 

Portion Size Vs. Serving Size

First it is important to understand the difference. Serving sizes are defined as a standard amount of food.  If you look at the back of most packaging, you will see the amount of serving sizes in each package or container. For example, a can of soup will have 2 servings inside. A portion is essentially how many servings are you eating. Portion sizes range from person to person and meal to meal. Portion sizes are much easier to control when you eat at home versus going out. Restaurants usually serve portions large enough for 2-3 people, which is gets most of us into trouble. When you are looking to make your next meal think about adding more fruit/ veggie portions in addition to healthy grains and protein. 

Shrink your plate

Most dinner plates are not conducive to portion size. When you are hungry it is hard to focus on portions.  You want to eat everything in sight. I am totally guilty of this! Piling food onto your plate leads to overeating or throwing out half because it was just too much. Using a salad size plate to help portion out your meal will help you stay in a healthy portion range. Remember, half the plate should be some sort of veggies, a quarter of complex carbs and a quarter of high quality protein.

Store leftovers in single serve containers

Meal planning and prepping is my sweet spot but even I make too much food. Storing your leftovers in single serve containers are great for heating up meals during the week or even freezing them for a later date. If you are going out to eat remember to take portions into account.  If you know that there is way to much food ask for a box right away and split in half. 

Dessert, it tastes great and you should not cut it out.

I love dessert just like you!  Sometimes it is my favorite meal of the day. However, it is also where most calories come from. Being able to portion your desserts will help you stay satisfied while maintaining your healthy lifestyle. When deciding on dessert choose items that don’t come from large containers. For example instead of reaching into that jar of M&M’s try a small packaged chocolate bar. If you are feeling super healthy having fruit or making a small parfait is a great alternative to packaged and processed items. 

Each week I like to bring you easy to do tips and tricks. I could write books about each one of these sub topics but lets get real, we need baby steps. Slowly changing the way you view portions and servings will create better habits. These habits will lead to a healthier and happier YOU, guaranteed. Just start today! With the next meal. Its never a great time, but this is your life and I want you to own it! 

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