Saturday, February 21, 2015

How Much is Too Much?


When it comes to eating healthy, the amount we eat plays a big role.  Even the healthiest of foods lose their benefits if we eat too much. A good example is avocados or nuts, they are both healthy fats and sources of protein and nutrients... with this said eating too much of either is really more calories and fats than you need in a day.  So on the journey to eating healthy it is important to discuss portions. How much is too much, and how much is just enough? 

Portions:  
-There are MANY ways to portion out food. I find the easiest ways for me is to read labels and use my hand. 
-Reading labels on food gives you the "portion size" at the top. It is a great eye opener to see that my can of soup is 2 servings, and 6 crackers is the suggested portion. 
-When the food is not packaged, using my hand is the best way I found to monitor portions.
My Hand Portion Chart
-Fist: Vegetables, Fruits, Rice, Noodles
-Palm: Meat, Fish, Egg, Yogurt
-Handful: Nuts, Dried Fruit, Granola, Muffins
-2 Handfuls: Popcorn, Chips, Crackers, Pretzels
-Thumb: Peanut butter, Cheese, Ranch
-Thumb Tip: Oil, Butter, Mayonnaise



Tips on eating less:
-Buy smaller bowls and plates. Humans are visual, and seeing a "full" plate of food is pleasing. If the plate is smaller, it takes less to fill it up! 
-Drink water. When dehydrated, your body signals to eat. Having a glass of water or broth based soup before every meal helps you realize when you are full and stay hydrated. 
-Portion out  snacks.  When meal prepping, I portion out my snacks.  This prevents me from eating a whole bag of crackers at once, and instead enjoy a smaller pre-made bag. Portioning out foods when you are not hungry will help you stop yourself from finishing a food while watching TV or just munching.
-Add Veggies!  Most vegetables are high in fiber (great to fill you up) and low on fat and calories.  Vegetables like celery, lettuce, asparagus, and peppers are great to add to any dish. 
-Pay Attention. Be aware of what you are eating. It sounds easy, but we have all watched TV and ate chips.... then realized you ate the whole bag and you are still not satisfied. 



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