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Did you know that serving sizes have increased 2 to 5 times in the last 50 years? Extra large serving sizes, 2 for 1 pizza and "all you can eat" buffets and are now common food choices popping up in our restaurants and grocery stores for added consumer bonus. It is no wonder that North Americans are slowing losing the battle of the bulge. Consider the following facts in regards to fast food:
- A Double Whopper at Burger King contains nearly 1,000 calories
- A large order of French fries at Mc Donald’s contains 540 calories
- The jumbo bucket of popcorn at movie theatres contains 1,640 calories
- A Double Gulp at 7-11 contains nearly 800 calories
Change Your Servings for Health
One of the greatest things you can do to improve your current state of health and to prevent the onset of future disease is to maintain a healthy body weight. Unfortunately, research has shown over and over again that people tend to eat the amount that is put in front of them – hungry or not.
In order to eat less and be conscious of serving sizes, it is important to have some idea of the amount of food you are actually eating. I call this technique the "eye-balling" technique. Since most of us do not have time to count calories or weigh our food, approximating food sizes by comparing them to other objects can often be quite helpful. For example:
- One deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat, poultry or fish
- One checkbook = 3 ounces of fleshy white fish such as flounder
- One matchbook = 1 ounce of poultry
- One shot glass = 2 tablespoons of salad dressing
- One walnut in the shell = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- One standard postal stamp = 1 teaspoon of butter
- One baseball = 1 cup of cold cereal, berries or popcorn
- ½ baseball = ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 1 CD case = 1 piece of bread
- 4 dice = 1 ounce of hard cheese
In order to avoid super sizing your food choices, there are also helpful tips to help you eat until you are sufficiently sufficed, not stuffed. These tips include:
- Slow down your meals. Try to make a meal last a minimum of 20 minutes. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes for the stretch receptors to register a "full" signal in the brain. By slowing things down, you will become fuller and be less inclined to overeat.
- Use your utensils to eat your food.
- Practise consciousness eating. Try to be aware of the taste, texture and smell of every food you eat.
- Set your table and sit down. Too many busy families are gulping down large portions of food due to a busy schedule.
- Include nutrient-dense, calorie-light foods in your meals such as low-starch vegetables, fruits, nuts (1/2 handful per day), lean proteins and whole grains.
In order to get a better handle on the amount of food you should be eating per day, visit the Truestar Nutrition section and design a personalized meal plan just for you. Start today and begin your journey towards optimal health. Bon appétit!
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