What is 'Portion Distortion'?

Over time, food and drink portions have become larger.

This includes, many junk foods, such as chocolate bars, soft drinks, muffins, and sausage rolls.

The more we are served at meals and snacks, the more we usually eat.
With this awareness, and by having a guide to manage portion sizes, we can eat foods in a healthy, balanced way.

What can I do to manage my portions?

• Learn how to visualise a portion or serve size and then control the quantities of food you serve up at your meals. 

• Serve your meals in the kitchen rather than from shared plates to discourage sneaky seconds.

• Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with carbohydrate-based foods.

• Use smaller plates and bowls. Studies show that changing the size of your plate can result in weight loss.

• Avoid eating straight from a packet or fridge to help monitor the amount you eat.

• Put leftovers into meal-sized portion containers (before sitting down to a meal) and pop in the fridge for later.

• Wait 20 minutes after a meal before you serve yourself more. It can take a while for your stomach to catch up - if you still feel hungry have a glass of water or extra salad or vegetables.

• When eating out ask for an entrée size or share (a larger meal). You can also ask for a container (if the serve is too large) to take the leftovers home, which you can eat the next day.

• Avoid skipping meals. If you feel hungry between meals, have a healthy snack. This can help you to avoid getting too hungry, which can lead to over-eating. 

• Keep a food diary for a week to monitor how much you eat and drink in a day.

• Create a shopping list and buy only those foods. Remember - never go grocery shopping when you are hungry.

 

Other ways to help you manage your portions and achieve or maintain a healthy weight:

As well as recording what you eat, you could also record how you eat to help you gain control over your food (i.e. at the table, or in front of the tv). Speak with your Dietitian/Nutritionist about resources that may help with this.

• Practice mindful eating by focussing on the food you are eating and avoid distraction.

• Re-learn hunger and fullness signals, and stop eating when you feel comfortably satisfied. Monitor this at the beginning and end of your meals and snacks 

• Slow down your pace of eating. If you eat your food quickly, try putting your knife and fork back down on the table between each mouthful, or try to increase the number of times you chew the food in your mouth. Monitor whether you eat different meals quickly, normally, or slowly, and find out what determines this.

• Identify things that cause you to overeat i.e. buffets, social events, eating with friends etc and brainstorm ideas to help you manage these triggers.