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Did You Know What Is a Healthy Portion of Food?

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sardine with garnish

You have to find the line between two small and perfectly normal sizes.

Overeating is one of the main reasons for the intimidating overweight rate on a world scale. Despite all that, the majority of us don’t realise they overeat and the size of the portion is what matters the most.

There are proofs, that during the last 50 years, the portions in restaurants and shops have multiplied and, correspondingly, our waistlines increased, too. It’s quite worrying, that many people just accepted and got used to the bigger portions.


Don’t We Realise How Calories Build Up?


Most foods in the fast food chains are quite caloric and, having even a small bite, we intake a large number of calories. Those highly energetic meals can lead people to eating much more than they need. If we cook something similar at home, it will be much less caloric.

Some people also consider that the intake of certain foods and avoiding others is more important for controlling their weight, rather than the consumption of less amounts of food as a whole.

They are quite wrong – for that purpose, the total number of calories matters the most.


We gobble everything we see in front of us. In the past, we were taught to eat everything on our plate, no matter if we are hungry or not.

When those portions were small, there was no problem, but according to the World Cancer Research Fund, the English hamburgers are now 112% bigger in comparison to those of 1982, the macaroni portions have increased by 480%, whereas the biscuits with chocolate – with 700%.

We think that more food is a good deal. Receiving more for your money, however, isn’t good for your waistline and your health. It’s an extraordinary deal if you buy more food just for a few coins up top. In fact, we do not gain anything from the added calories and fats, which we take in with those “deals”. The World Cancer Research Fund claims that the food industry has a significant contribution to overweight problems, because it gives the consumers large portions.


Recently, the Food and Drink Federation in the UK has taken the obligation to label their products more clearly, to decrease the sugar, fat and salt contents and to undertake new methods towards the sizes of the individual portions, dealing with the over consumption. Leaders on the market, such as Cadbury Trebor Basset, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Craft Foods and Pepsi are part of the group.


Tips & Tricks to Minimise Your Overeating


Source: Flickr; Author: TheBusyBrain; License: CC BY


Most of the people, who were successful in losing weight, owe their results on decreasing the portions they intake. Here’s an effective way to do it and still feel satiated – wait for ten minutes! Your stomach needs as much time to signal the brain that it’s full, so wait for it before going for a second potato mash or lasagne.

Keep up with the conversation, tell a joke or two, or, if you happen to dine by yourselves, read the newspaper or do the crossword. If you still feel hunger, after you’ve waited, then you probably didn’t eat enough – but instead, have a second portion from the vegetables or the salad.

Most of us eat everything they get served, no matter the quantity. Let me tell you a better strategy – eat a healthy portion and stop there. It is bad to throw out food, but why not save it for the next day, instead of putting so much pressure on your organism.


Another trick is to never eat straight from the package or the box. If you have taken food for home, put the necessary amount in the plate and leave the rest aside. Then sit down and slowly enjoy your meal.


What’s the solution if you are in love with the big portions? Fill out your plate with vegetables or salad or have a big bowl with warm soup. Those rich in water and poor in fat foods are low caloric, so that the big portion is not a problem.


When you order food or drinks, or you buy packaged goods from the supermarket, make sure to pick the smallest packages from the most caloric products. (An exception to this rule are the salads and vegetables without added fats). Pick the small espresso with cream, the middle French loaf instead of the big one, the little muffin, instead of its large option with pieces of chocolate. The calories which you didn’t buy cannot reflect your waistline.


Many packaged foods and drinks seem like they were made for one person, but instead they are meant for two or more, whereas the calories and the rest of the information on the label refers to a single portion. That’s why you should first read how many portions there are in a single package, and only afterwards proceed to eating it.


Before the meal, put away the remaining food. It’s easy to sit in front of a healthy meal. The problems begin when your plate is empty and you see in front of yourselves the rest of the foods, which tempt you. The solution is to pack and hide from your side everything else, before having a meal. This way you will have to make a real effort for an additional portion, and you will have time to think through your inadequate choice.


Finish with fruits or veggies. If you pass through smaller portions, you will probably still feel hungry. The solution is to snack on celery, carrots, peppers or sliced tomato. The easiest and healthiest way to increase your portion is by having an apple, an orange or a large piece of watermelon for a dessert.


 Find the Perfect Food Portions


Here’s how to determine the ideal size of your portions. We give you two examples – the first one compares the portions with everyday objects, whereas the second one – with parts of your body. You can apply this system basically everywhere.



The Ideal PortionLooks Like…Or like…
75 gr meata small package of handkerchiefsspread palm
75 gr fisha small package of handkerchiefsspread palm
3-4 tbsp of beansa golf ballfolded palm
40 gr cheese3 dicesyour thumb
2 spoonfuls of macaroni/ tartelette ricea full muffin form1 fistful
1 portion of potato mash1 cup holderyour palm
25 gr French loaf1 soaphalf your palm
1 little muffinthe oval part of an electric bulbhalf a fist
8 cm piece of cakea block of sticky notesaround ¾ of your palm
1 tbsp butter1 poststampthe tip of your thumb
1 tbsp oil or saucethe bottom of a tea cupthe groove of your folded palm
potato chips1 tennis ballone folded palm
Nuts or dried fruitsa golf ballhalf a handful

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