No one has to tell you that our portions have gotten beyond ludicrous to downright dangerous over the last 20-30 years. For a fun review on the madness, click here.
Given that I’m only slightly larger than your average 5th grader, I have to be VERY mindful of portions when eating in or out – remember, as portions have grown, so has what we consider to be a ‘normal’ plate size – just look at grandma’s china set for historical reference.
Here are some of my favorite ways to keep portions in check:
1) Choose a smaller plate. When eating out, keep your appetizer plate and serve your meal onto it, or better yet, order a healthy appetizer as your meal. I do not keep dinner plates in my home at all, simply because they encourage overportioning, or make it look as though I am depriving myself with all that white space!
If you are dining out and you want an entree, ask for a take-out box to be brought with the meal so that you can place what you don’t need that moment in the container and out of sight.
2) Ramekins and juice glasses keep portions in check – a juice glass is still 8 oz, and a ramekin for desserts like ice cream or treats like tortilla chips keeps portions easier to manage than using a standard bowl.
3) Chopsticks are our friend – they make it impossible to shove fist-sized globs of rice in my mouth when I am noshing on yummy Thai cuisine after a workout, and they slow my meal wayyyy down. Given that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach’s signal to the brain to activate the sensation of fullness every thing we can do to slow down our eating is a step in the right direction. Want to slow down even more? Try a mindful meal.