Measuring Portions

Portions ~ Weight Loss

Here Are Six Easy Ways to Measure Them

One of the most perplexing questions we keep being asked is to define a serving size.

Well, they actually vary, depending on what is being served, and serving size perception has a lot has to do with the size of the dinner ware it's being served on.

Don't serve individual meals on a turkey platter, as an example.

Of course you wouldn't, I only say that to illustrate a point.

The smaller the size of the dinner ware, the better, because once you've cleared your plate of food, your eyes, then your mind and finally your tummy, will feel fuller.

As you'll see in the chart below a fruit or vegetable serving size is different from meat serving sizes.

A peanut butter serving is different from a rice or pasta serving.

And if we want to cut calories by keeping close tabs on how much we're eating (no matter where we are) we need to have a good understanding of our serving sizes.

Eating the right size serving pays off, say Pennsylvania State University scientists, who found out how easily big servings lead to calorie overload.

On 2 consecutive days in each of 3 weeks, 32 subjects chose as many food serving sizes as they wanted.

But the serving sizes changed.

Regular sized servings during week one became 50% larger the second week and doubled during week three.

Compared with the first week, total daily calories jumped by 335 per day for women and 504 for men during the second week, and by an astonishing 530 for women and 812 for men in the last week.

To make control of your serving sizes super easy, you can print out the following guide and carry it with you until you've committed it to memory.

We hope this helps in your quest for serving size control.



Now comes the fun part;

How to fool yourself into eating a lot less by simply downsizing your table setting.

Kids are told to clean their plates at every meal, so it's no wonder they grow into adults who feel compelled to finish whatever sized portions are in front of them.

Breaking that habit can be next to impossible, but you don't necessarily have to in order to lose a few pounds.

Switching up your plates, silverware and even centerpieces (seriously) can let you polish off every last morsel without having to let out your entire wardrobe.

Plates

Keep them saucer size (about 6 inches in diameter).

Yes, it might feel a little like Alice in Wonderland at first but a study done at Cornell University, found people who ate a hamburger off a saucer believed they were eating 18% more calories than they really were.

People who ate off a 12 inch diameter dish had no such illusion.

Bowls

Research shows that the bigger the bowl, the more you'll stuff in it.

So, stick with small ones, or use a teacup or a mug for foods you tend to gulp down, like cereal and ice-cream.

Save the giant bowls for salads and broth based soups so you'll fill up on fewer calories.

Glasses

According to a study, adults pour about 19% more liquid into short, wide glasses than they do into tall tumblers.

This may be because our brains tend to focus more on an objects height than it's width, so short glasses don't appear quite as full.

Spoons

Stick with teaspoons, even to load up your plate.

Another Cornell study found that people who used 3 ounce serving spoons dished out nearly 15% more food portions than those who dished using smaller 2 oz. spoons.

Serving Dishes

People ate as much as 56% more when they served themselves from a one gallon bowl than they did from a half-gallon one.

You can also hedge your bets by choosing ceramic over glass.

One study found that women ate 71% more out of transparent containers than they did out of dishes they couldn't see through.

Candles

Skip them or blow them out right after the salad portions.

When the lighting is dim, people linger over their food more, which can lead to over eating.

Centerpieces

Swap the flowers for a bowl of green apples, bananas, or after dinner mints.

Studies have found that obese and over weight people who whiffed one of those scents before each meal lost an average of 60 pounds over 6 months.

Walls

Paint them blue.

Blue is thought to be a natural appetite suppressant.

In one study, gala attendees who dined in a blue room ate 33% less than those who ate in a yellow or red room.

Blue lights actually make food appear less appealing, while warmer colors, especially yellow, have the opposite effect.

Fast food restaurants have known and used this fact for decades, which is why almost all of them have yellowish interiors, they want you to order and eat more portions.

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