A serving is a set amount of food that contains a specific quantity of calories and nutrients.
Servings normally are given in common units (cups, ounces, pieces, etc). For packaged food and drinks, the nutritional analysis is based on serving size found on the Nutrition Facts panel. You need to know a particular food’s serving size to tell how many servings you are consuming. People often have more than one serving at a time. To see how much fat, calories, etc. you really are taking in, multiply all the numbers in the nutrition information by the number of servings you have.
Always look at the “servings per container” on the Nutrition Facts panel. Containers that seem to be a single serving such as a bottled beverage could have multiple servings. Be aware that a serving size on a manufacture’s label isn’t a recommendation of how much you should consume. But it does allow you to compare nutritional information of similar products.
A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat or the amount of food a restaurant gives you. It is not usually the same as a serving. Often, portions are larger than one serving. Large portions have been blamed for the increase in obesity in the United States. A key part of reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is portion control.
Here are 5 tips for managing your portion sizes:
Drink 16oz of water before eating.
This can make you feel slightly more full so you refrain from over-eating. Oftentimes, we believe we are hungry when we may in fact be dehydrated. The PKD Foundation says this: “The truth is, most people confuse thirst and hunger, often mistaking the former for the latter. Clinical studies have shown that 37% of people mistake hunger for thirst because thirst signals can be weak.”
Fill up on veggies.
Find ways to increase the amount of vegetables you’re eating day-to-day. If you’re making a sandwich, top it with spinach. If you’re making pancakes, try adding some blended spinach or kale. Making meat pasta sauce? Try substituting half the meat with mushrooms.
If you tend to eat fast, you may be over-eating without listening to whether or not you’re still hungry. Consider slowing down. Drink water throughout your meal and set your fork down between bites. Play games at dinner like Table Topics to get the conversation going.
Use smaller plates.
The size of our dinnerware definitely impacts how much food we eat. Try swapping out a large dinner plate for one that’s smaller so even if you do load up on sides, there’s less space to do so.
For more tips, get in touch today!
At Physician’s Weight Control and Wellness, our weight loss programs are unique in that they are physician-guided and individually tailored to each patient. Because every patient is different, no two treatment plans are the same. The same philosophy applies to our nutrition consulting and coaching programs. These programs are designed to be the next step after meeting with our doctors to ensure your investment in your new lifestyle takes root.