How Much Are We Eating?
By Jennifer Opaka, Edited by LTKD
I am always excited to try a new recipe out at home. I do my best to use the freshest ingredients and follow the recipes accordingly. After an hour or so of chopping, mixing and steaming I realize that I have made more than I could ever eat on my own. I start to wonder how many of my neighbors are home and might want some. Then I look at the recipe to see how many servings of the meal I just prepared, and if it is not there (and I’m not starving) I make a note to check the amounts in an internet calorie calculator. Working in the fitness industry for so many years, I have seen people achieve amazing results once they know how much food it takes to properly fuel their bodies. I learned this trick from a client: “If the recipe calls for a whole box of pasta, check the number of people it serves on the box and try to find two extra people to share it with”. So, basically if I make lasagna meant for 9 people, 10 of my neighbors are getting a piece.
My favorite definition of portion is “dividing (something) into shares, to be distributed between 2 more people. Most prepackaged meals unless specified are meant to be shared, and there are definitely times when having 13 chips (amount per serving) just doesn’t seem like enough. THIS type of moment is a good one to find a more complete source of nutrition to fuel your day. Not sure what to get? ; keep it as simple as possible. An easy, on-the-go way to estimate portion size is to use your hand as a reference. A 3oz. – 5oz. serving of protein would be fit in your palm; a ½ cup serving of rice, pasta or fruit would be about the size of your fist and vegetables can be enjoyed as often as you want.
The best place to begin is to think about nutrition when defining what a calorie does. It is not an arbitrary number meant to punish us every time we are hungry. A calorie is simply a measurement of the energy it takes your body to obtain all of the nutrients from what you consume. TIP: The body prefers a higher quality calorie, to one that does not supply it with the proper nutrition you need. If you eat and you suddenly feel slow and tired, there may be something in the meal that irritated your digestive system.
If you are interested in knowing approximately how many calories you should eat, GO HERE:
When it comes to calories and portion sizes the most important thing is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you are craving something high in protein but slightly higher in calories, have the protein, not a salad. Better yet, have a slightly smaller than normal portion with a salad or veggies! Your body may be requesting certain nutrients to help you stay alert or to help build muscle if you have been exercising frequently. Being aware of food quality and how it impacts your body can lead to positive changes in your eating habits and life.
If you have any specific questions regarding nutrition, meal plans, calorie tracking systems (Vitabot), food swap ideas or recipes; please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Want to test your knowledge of portion size? Check out this great interactive POP QUIZ from Prevention online. A few of them really surprised me!