Ever wondered why you eat ‘healthily’ and still carry excess weight or body fat? Portion sizes can make a big difference to your daily calorie intake.
Have you ever opened that 90% dark chocolate bar (knowing it’s a healthier choice that our other sugary chocolates and that it contains magnesium, potassium, iron, and antioxidants) only to then realise you’ve eaten half the bar?! Yes, it may be a healthier alternative to milk or white chocolate but it still contains calories! Boom, before you know it, you’ve just consumed 500kcals.
Look at the photos. The first shows “a handful” of almonds. Once again a great snack full of fibre, protein, magnesium, and calcium! However, when I weighed that handful and worked out the calories it was a whopping 266kcals. When I weighed a controlled portion at 25g it came out as 148kcals.
If I did that every day for a week, I’d be consuming an extra 826kcals. It may not sound much but that’s only one quick snack in the day.
Tips to support portion control
- Think before you eat, are you actually hungry? Often we mistake hunger for thirst. Have a drink of water and wait 20 minutes to see how you are feeling.
- Use smaller plates. Studies have proven we eat more on a larger plate. Visually we like to fill the plate so the larger plate the more we will add, hence the more calories we will consume.
- Fill your plate with veggies. Aim to have around half of the plate filled with veggies, a quarter with protein and the rest with starchy carbohydrates e.g. pasta, potatoes or rice.
- Avoid eating from the packet. Think of a packet of biscuits, it’s easy to overeat as you keep picking when you can’t see the amount you are consuming.
Each person burns a different number of calories depending on their lifestyle and body composition. Be mindful of your portion sizes if you notice you’re not losing weight/body fat or if you’re not gaining weight/muscle mass, depending on your goal, then this could be the hidden issue.
This article was written by Victoria Self from Clean Nutrition Ltd which provides bespoke nutrition advice either face to face or online for those outside Somerset.