Quick Quiz: How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a lunchbox pack of granola bars? A portion is a serving size.
Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package.
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 Perils of Supersizing
Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:
- Food is meant to be spread throughout the day.
- Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
- A surge of glucose is released into your blood. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb all that extra glucose. This can make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or headachy.
- 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.
- When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience wicked cravings for more food—specifically simple carbs or sweets.
- Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.
5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion
- Don’t over order – go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees.
- Choose high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized.
- Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register you’re full before you overeat.
- Get enough water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
- Carry your own snacks. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with a reasonable serving size of baby carrots, air-popped popcorn, or nuts.
Nuts are a healthy snack with healthy fats, but serving size is important. For instance, just 1/2 cup of pistachios, with shells, is one serving and 160 calories. Sure, I’ve eaten more than 1/2 cup, but not every day or at one sitting.
Simple tip when it comes to portions: Eat just enough to satisfy your hunger or craving. Give yourself permission to eat whenever your hungry; just don’t eat like your never going to eat again! Listen to your body.
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!
I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching @ michelejazzalyn.com