Modified Daniel Fast Lesson #3: Today we will review how to create healthy portion sizes. If you overeat, it can not only affect your weight but also your health in general. If your meals are not balanced, iie. too much sugar, too little protein or a lack of vital nutrients, you can face health issues.
Portion control is key to an effective, healthy eating regime. If you aren’t going to weigh and analyze your food in terms of protein, carb and fat content, you can manage the calorie and nutrient content of your food via portion control. You can use your hand as a tool in this process. If you have very little hands, you may want to adjust a bit, but not too much. Portions will be in line with things like height so it make sense for me to have a smaller portion size than Shaquille O’Neal for example. Let take a look at some examples of serving sizes:
Rice, Pasta, Fruit and Veggies – the portion will be approximately the size of your fist.
Meat, Fish and Poultry – a portion will be approximately the size of your open palm.
Nuts, Dried Fruit and Raisins – a portion will be approx. the size of a handful (more closed palm).
Chips, Popcorn, Pretzels – a portion will be approx. 2 handfuls is the suggested portion size.
Here is the truth: We all have different needs. The nutrition needs for a runner are not the same as a person who only walks for exercise. The food needs for a person who wants to lose weight are going to me different than someone who has lost weight and now wants to build muscle. You have to take the time and do your own research to know what your calorie and macronutrient needs are to correspond with the correct portion sizes. I suggest you take a look at these 2 free sites and their eating calculators for help: FreeDieting.com and My Fitness Pal.
That being said, I’m a believer that you should eat as many veggies and leafy greens as you like. Another person may feel that you need to up your intake of lean protein and make that a larger part of your daily meals. These portion rules are not set in stone, but should be used as tools to help you find the way of eating the works for you. In the end, the key is that you take the time to CONSIDER CAREFULLY what you are eating and how much of it you are eating. Without some analysis of your eating habits you run the risk of counter acting your good efforts towards losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle by overeating or eating too much of the wrong foods.
Consider this: A handful of carrots is not the same as a handful of jelly beans even though they are both carbs. Take some time consider not just the size of the portion but all the CONTENT in terms of nutrient, vitamins, etc.
Action of the Day: Take some time to consider these questions and write your answers down.
- Have you been eating significantly more or less than these portion sizes?
- How far off do you believe you’ve been per meal?
- What do you need to do in decrease the portions that you know are too large?
- What foods should you increase your intake of?
- What actions can you take to better insure you’re eating proper portions? – Smaller plates? Asking for half of your food to be boxed up instead of brought to the table when you eat out? Right sized food containers to take your lunch into work with?
Here are 2 helpful portion size guides to bring the point home. Print them out and laminate them for a reference you can take with you on the go or post to your fridge.
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