Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion

"Recommended serving size".......does anyone really pay attention to this when choosing a meal or a snack?

How many portions do you think are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice, or a lunchbox pack of granola bars? I'll give you a hint, it's not just one!

How Many Servings Do You Think?

Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half serving per package!

Can YOU eat just one???

Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?

Don't beat yourself up if the answer is "no". Reality is, if you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all.  It's human nature; it's just the way we're wired.

The Perils of Supersizing

Eating too much food at one sitting is hard on your body.  Here's why:

  • Food is meant to be spread throughout the day. Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
  • A surge of glucose is released into your blood. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin throughout the body, to absorb all of that glucose. This can make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or headachy.
  • Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into "fight or flight" mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body's natural response to stress.
  • When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience major cravings for more food- specifically simple carbs or sweets.
  • Research has found that immune system function is affected for up to 5 hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.

So what's the solution?

Here are my 5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion

  1. Don't over order - go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees.
  2. Choose high fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized.
  3. Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register you are full prior to overeating.
  4. Get enough water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
  5. Carry your own snacks. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with carrot sticks, nuts, apple slices, and so on.

Which of these tips do you think will be easiest to implement for you?  I'd love to know if you have any others!

Be well,

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