By Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD
Our food portions have gotten bigger over the years and not just at restaurants. Bigger portions are everywhere from grocery stores to vending machines and even at home. The average dinner plate today is 11 to 12 inches in diameter, compared to just 9 inches forty years ago.
Bigger plates make bigger servings seem normal. But consuming just 100 extra calories per day adds up to a 10-pound weight gain in one year. So how can you prevent portion distortion? Here are a few tips:
- When dining out, split an entrée with someone, or ask your server to bring a take-out box when the food is served, and save half for another meal (or two!)
- Try serving your meals away from the table rather than family style. Moving the food to the kitchen counter requires getting up from the table for seconds, and promotes more mindful eating.
- If you tend to snack in front of the TV or computer, put a serving of the food you are eating into a small container rather than eating right out of the package. It is easy to overeat when distracted with other activities!
- Avoid skipping meals, and don’t be afraid to have a healthy snack when you’re hungry. If you allow yourself to become over-hungry, you’re more likely to eat larger portions and choose highercalorie options. If you haven’t eaten all day, a double cheeseburger and fries sounds a lot better than a salad!
To learn more about healthy eating and weight management through Northfield Hospital and Clinics’ ReShape U! program, visit northfieldhospital.org/nutrition-dietetics.