Do you understand what amount of food you should be eating if you are aiming to optimize your health and control your weight? With more and more people eating takeaway meals where it seems to make sense to spend a few more cents to get a much larger serve, we are entering into unchartered waters with people not understand that more is in fact translated into less in terms of health and vitality.
How many portions are in a family size packet of potato chips (and no, the answer is not one for those of you who sit down and consume a bag in one sitting). Or a can of Coca-Cola? Or a family size block of chocolate?
Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package or more.
Can YOU Eat Just One?
Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?
Don’t beat yourself up if the answer is no: If you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all. It’s just the way we’re wired.
The Dangers of Supersizing
Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:
- Let’s say, you take a family block size of chocolate with the intention of just having a small amount whilst you watch a movie. Your hand goes to cut another piece off and you realize that you have eaten the WHOLE block! Does that sound familiar? Your body can’t handle such a large intake of sugar and it will work extra hard to process the fructose and glucose. It will elevate your body’s uric acid which creates fatty liver, hypertension and kidney disease. A surge of glucose is released into your blood causing your pancreas to work extra hard. This will make you feel headachy, irritable and sluggish.
- Food is meant to be spread throughout the day. Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
- Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress. These sugar spikes are dangerous and set your body up for pre-diabetes.
- If you have been to one of my Sugar Blues Workshops, you would understand the dangers of sugar and what it does to your body in so many ways. The reality is that when your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you will actually be hungry and crave more food and usually it is for carbohydrates and more sugar! And so the vicious cycle continues.
- Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.
Eight Tips to Kick Portion Distortion
- Drink a large glass of water thirty minutes before eating. Often we confuse dehydration with hunger.
2. Avoid fast-food restaurants! Need I say more?
3. Don’t over order – go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees.
4. Choose a small serving of a good quality protein to keep you feeling satiated. Don’t forget, protein doesn’t have to be from an animal source. Many fabulous plant-based foods such as quinoa and buckwheat are high in protein.
5. Choose high-fibre foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energised.
6. Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register that you’re full before you overeat.
7. Carry your own snacks. I spend a small amount of time thinking about when I am going to be out and about and get some snacks ready in air-lock containers. I will pack things such as activated nuts, vegetables sticks, activated seeds, etc.
8. Carry water with you everywhere!!! That way you won’t cave in and buy a big sugary drink to kill your thirst.
GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes (such as chewing your food more thoroughly) can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!