National Nutrition Month: Understanding Portion Control

This week’s topic is all about a commonplace where most people fall down when it comes to food. Whether it be through not paying attention to it or not fully understanding it. What am I talking about?

Portion Control

Many of us get confused with how much they should have on their plate and how much of each type of food they should be eating. It’s not surprising as it gets a bit of a mind field when it comes to this subject. There is so much good and bad info and advice out there it’s hard to know what to do or whose advice to follow.

When asked the majority of people say they have a healthy diet and do eat well and openly admit that they have a few indulgences now and then. This very conversation I hear on a weekly if not daily basis and it usually goes something along the lines of this:

 ‘I don’t understand why I’m struggling to lose weight as I do eat healthily, I have cereal for breakfast, fruit for dinner and a cooked evening meal, I do treat myself too but only on odd occasions.”

Sound like you or anybody you know? 

Without examining someone’s food diary and exercise habits it’s hard to tell where someone could be going wrong. But it’s pretty common for people to be either under-eating, overconsuming on carbs or not consuming enough protein and fat in their diet. Occasional treats aren’t usually a worry as let’s be honest we all do it.

Well, hopefully, this article will help you understand what a good plate of food looks like and what should be on it.

Should I be calorie counting?

Let’s start with calorie counting, it works for some, but counting calories is time-consuming and not very accurate. To the extent that you could be consuming up to + or – 25% calories than you thought. That could be the difference between you working toward your goals or you staying where you are. Scary isn’t it.

It’s not all about just calories though, our calories can come from carb, protein and fat sources and having the right balance of carbs, protein and fat is also a major factor in how our body changes, as well as where our carb, protein and fat sources come from. The better fuel you place in the engine the better performance you’ll get out of it. Fresh unprocessed produce is the way forward.

But if I’m not counting calories how will I know how much I’m eating?

Precision Nutrition

Well, the best method I have come across to better understand and control what you consume is to follow the guidelines from Precision Nutrition. They use the hand measure system and it’s easy to follow which is even better. Precision Nutrition are world-respected nutritional experts and their coaching is seconded to none, which I have had the pleasure of going through myself.

How it works

As a rough guide here’s how it works:

  • A serving of protein is equal to the size of your palm.
  • A serving of vegetables is equal to the size of your fist.
  • A serving of carbs is equal to a cupped hand
  • A serving of fats equal the size of your thumb.  

These serving suggestions are for a typical woman, where a man could require up to double the intake. But these suggestions are just that, suggestions! Depending on your activity levels during the day will depend largely on your intake requirement. Moving more means you’ll need more fuel. It’s not rocket science.

Take a look at this

Consuming the right things is easy when you know what it is you should be eating but controlling your portions is always harder. As our potion sizes are based around habits and habits are always the hardest things to break. In this article, I’ve added a link to an awesome infographic by Precision Nutrition showing you the guidelines of how much to plate up and giving you some examples too.

Copy and save this infographic and use it for reference

Don’t forget to let us know how you get on. In the meantime why not book a class with us to find out what it’s all about. Tap the link below:

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