Portion Size Matters

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Portion Size Matters

CDC The New (Ab)normal

Portion sizes have quadrupled in the past 50 years, and it’s not because we need to eat more. Research shows that portion sizes play a large role in energy balance, and eliminating oversized portions could reduce the calories we eat by 22-29%.

Because our servings have become so abnormally large, sometimes you may not even realize that you are overeating. Simply reducing portion sizes is a great way to manage your weight without giving up many of the foods you love.

Tips for eating smaller portions:

  • Pick a plate for success:  Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to plate size. The larger the plate, the more you will eat.
  • Out of sight, out of mind: Serve yourself in the kitchen, and then sit down at a table to eat.
  • Ditch the bag: Portion out snacks instead of eating straight from the bag or box.
  • Slow down and savor: You’ve probably heard that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full. Give it that time and savor every bite.
  • Focus on the food: Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and get away from your desk. The more distracted you are, the more you will eat.
  • Recognize portion size: Use this visual guide to help you easily recognize recommended portion sizes without having to measure your food.
  • Indulge a little: Healthy eating includes treats too. Enjoy little indulgences, like a small square of dark chocolate or a single scoop of ice cream, rather than avoiding sweets or other treats altogether. Savor these treats, take time to taste them, and don’t feel guilty. Including these foods in your diet in small portions can help keep cravings under control.

Learning to recognize and serve yourself reasonable portion sizes will allow you to enjoy your favorite foods, while also helping you manage your weight. Remember that many of the most filling foods are also nutrient-rich, which not only aid weight management but also promote long-term health. Choose foods packed with fiber, protein, and a little bit of healthy fat to keep you feeling energized on fewer calories.

There are many factors that can affect your food choices. Learn more about how to stay on track by creating a plan.