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Are you trying to ‘Eat Healthy’ but not seeing results? The answer could be in portion sizing. The concept of ‘healthy eating’ looks different for everyone, but we could say the basic premise is that you want to eat less of the bad stuff (ultra-processed foods, takeaways, fried foods, etc) and eat more of the good stuff. However, in the quest to ‘be good’ and perhaps drop a bit of body fat, frustration can kick in when the genuine effort is being made and yet there seems to be no change in body composition occurring. What gives? The answer could be portion distortion.
How much you serve yourself when undertaking dietary change is just as crucial as what you serve up. It all boils down to the fact that to achieve a healthy body weight, you need to be in energy balance – not eat too much, not eat too little. If you are serving up meals with what you believe to be healthy but not paying attention to the serving size of the meal’s components, you may be meeting your nutritional requirements (i.e., getting adequate amounts of vitamins/minerals/fibre/phytonutrients – win) but overeating on calories, leaving you in a similar position to where you started and fed up with your efforts yielding little change.
A classic example of healthy eating being derailed by portion sizing is with healthy high-fat foods such as salmon, avocado, nuts and peanut butter. These are all very healthy and nutrient-dense foods but will easily push you over your calorie budget should your serve sizes be out. For instance, a frozen fillet of salmon weighing 250g once cooked provides over 600 calories which might be fine depending on how much your need to eat each day, but if you are on a smaller calorie budget of say 2000 calories and by dinner you only have 500 calories left, to stay within budget, you would be better placed to reduce the portion size down to 100g (260 calories) to still reap the health benefits of the fish, minus the energy blow out.
But how do you know what a serving size is? What an appropriate serve size actually is for any given food is rather subjective.
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