Portion distortion: We’ve all had it. How could we not, with triple-sized restaurant portions to the ginormous bagels at grocery stores? So what’s a girl to do? Here are some quick tips to help you eat the right amount to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
1. One serving of lean protein = the size of a deck of cards. Some great lean protein options include skinless chicken breast, tuna, cottage cheese, eggs, yogurt, or lean red meat. Lean proteins help build and restore muscle, which helps your body burn calories at rest. Proteins also keep you full so that you aren’t reaching for a snack soon after your meal.
2. Keep your salt intake at less than a teaspoon per day. Eating too much sodium results in an unhealthy buildup in your bloodstream, which can cause high blood pressure and heart problems among other ailments. Avoid processed and prepared foods, which are usually very high in sodium.
3. Let veggies and fruits take over! Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. Aim for two and a half cups of veggies per day and about two cups of fruit per day. Not only are they low in calories and fat, but they will give you some much-needed vitamins and minerals. Chop them up and have them handy to grab right out of your refrigerator. Also, try my favorite move: Shred some veggies and add them to sauces, casseroles, and other dishes.
4. At least half of your grains should be whole grains. Avoid “enriched” and “wheat flour” products. Some great ways to incorporate whole grains are to switch from white products to wheat products (pasta, rice, etc.). Try other grains like quinoa or barley. Whole grains provide your body with lots of fiber, helping you feel fuller longer.
5. Avoid over-sized portions. One great technique to avoid portion overload is to use the smaller salad plate rather than the larger dinner plate. This tricks your brain into thinking that you’re eating more as the fuller, smaller plate is more appealing than a larger, emptier one.
6. Slow down and know when you have had enough. Savor your meals and put your fork down while you chew. Enjoy a good mealtime conversation with family or friends. Take a cue from kids, who are usually very vocal when it comes to getting full.