Research strongly suggests that increasing rates of overweight and obesity are in direct correlation with the increased portion sizes we have experienced since the early 1980s. Individuals are frequently unaware of how much food they actually consume in a single sitting. This lack of awareness is usually tied to whatever activity they are doing while eating, be it watching television or trying to finish that book they’re reading.
On the other hand, mindless eating could be a result of your psychosocial state, that is, emotional eating. Mindless eating, be it multitasking while eating or emotional eating, may be taking a significant toll on your health. Are you even aware of the fact that you are likely gaining weight, inches, and feeling sluggish? Adding insult to injury, our population is increasingly becoming more sedentary in their daily activities. Therefore, the extra portions being consumed are not being burned off efficiently enough.
It’s time to take control and engage in awareness. For years I would encourage my clients to use measuring cups and food scales as a way of controlling food portions. More recently, as I have been teaching intuitive eating, the only tool an intuitive eater really needs is that of his/her internal signals. I therefore no longer encourage the use of these external tools.
Having said that, there are some times when you might just need a visual of what a recommended amount of a particular food is. Since restaurants have been serving up super-sized portions, you might not really have any idea what a “normal” portion looks like. I just discovered a great new tool for portion awareness. It’s called PortionMateTM. It is a meal and snacking measuring tool that allows you to quickly and easily measure portions into a plate or bowl. The measuring tool is in the form of cylinders, or rings. There are six cylinders to help measure different types of food. The sizes range from largest (1 cup), to smallest (1 ounce). PortionMate™ is a great visual tool as it works by placing the rings on your plate or in your bowl then placing the food inside the cylinder, therefore providing an accurate measure of your portions.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still want you to tune into your hunger and satiety signals when eating. So, even though Portionmate™ might have provided you with a visual of an “appropriate” portion of pasta, if you eat 2/3 of it and sense comfortable satiety, then stop eating and leave the rest.
So if you have been affected by portion distortion and super-sized restaurant meals, then by all means, check out Portionmate™. But ultimately, you need to learn to trust your body and your internal signals. To learn more about intuitive eating, just click here. You’ll be happy you did!
Your turn to take action: How have you been affected by portion distortion? Let me know in the comments section below.