‘Get Your Plate in Shape’ During National Nutrition Month With These Tips on Portion Control
March is National Nutrition Month, an annual nutrition education and information campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). The 2012 theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape.” During the month of March, I’ll be devoting one post each week to giving you healthy eating tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
This week is all about portion control. As a registered dietitian, I have noticed that people are trying harder. With the variety of cooking and food television shows and talk shows focused on health and wellness and blogs like this, many of us are trying to do better. That said, I have seen many people choosing more nutritious foods, but there is still a lot of processed convenience foods being consumed. The biggest issue is that Michigan is the 10th most obese state in the nation. This is a clear indicator that we are all still eating way too much.
I found this interesting infographic, below, by Massive Health that explains the issue of portion control and suggests some steps to help you cut back and be more realistic about how much you are eating. (View a larger version here.)
Use a Salad Plate
Remember that a portion of food should be based on how your body reads a serving, not how much you can visually put on your plate. The new MyPlate guidelines definitely can help with steering you toward a more well-balanced diet, but it’s also important to control how much you consume. A good trick is to use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate when portioning out food servings.
I always bring up the simple fact that I am only 5 feet 1 inch tall, where my husband is 5 feet 11 inches. For some reason when we are eating together, I seem to think that I should be eating the same amount as him and he thinks he should be eating for someone who is 6-foot-11. So you can see how this could easily increase the amount of food we eat.
The bottom line is that most people need to dial back on the amount of food they are eating. So think well-balanced, portion-controlled meals and snacks daily. You can do it. Try measuring how much you are eating to gain a clearer knowledge and perspective regarding portions.
What do you do to help control your portions? Do you choose a well-balanced diet as well?
Inforgraphic Credit: Massive Health