Portion Distortion – What Proportion of Distortion is your Portion in?

There are many natural processes that we choose to undertake every day, week or year that help us sustain our bodies.

Why is it that we are satisfied breathing the same amount, drinking the same amount of water and exercising on the same level, but we are never quite satisfied eating unless we are pushing the boundaries when it comes to portion sizes?

Finding and maintaining healthy serving sizes of food can be one of the most challenging things for those who are truly passionate about flavor.

Food is unique, just as our approach to it is unique.

It is essential for our survival; even with all joys of taste and texture removed it is still necessary for us to sustain ourselves.

But it also provides a sensory wonderland; a smörgåsbord of tastes, including savory, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (the taste group associated with MSG and other glutamates).

How are we supposed to help ourselves when food can bring us so much pleasure? How are we to say when enough is enough?

Portion Distortion

How do we stop portion distortion?

Slow down and enjoy the ride

A well-established key on the road to portion control is to eat at a slower pace than you’re used to.

When food is consumed more slowly, you will have the feeling that you consumed a large amount without the negative bloated feeling and the guilt of indulging to an unhealthy degree.

This will also leave most people with a greater sense of enjoyment for each item on their plate; just the same as when one walks down a road that they usually drive.

Going at a slower pace helps you stop and appreciate the landscape.

Get familiar with food serving sizes

There are many reputable government-endorsed websites that outline healthy serving size of meat, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruits.

Reviewing sites like these can put your own food habits into perspective and could be helpful in controlling how much food ends up on your plate at mealtime.

Serving size of meat in particular is something that has become distorted in Western culture,

The ’10 Chews Per Bite’ Rule

A helpful trick when trying to control portion size is to consciously chew each bite of food 10 times.

This will allow you to break down the food into finer pieces making digestion easier, and will also slow down your eating pace.

By slowing down you allow more time for your stomach to respond to the food, and as a result you will find yourself feeling just as full with smaller portion sizes.

Final Thoughts

Another helpful piece of advice I have heard in the past is to use smaller dishes when eating.

This trick of the eye that makes your brain think you are eating as much as you’re used to, even if the serving size is much less.

By maintaining a healthy balance of the different kinds of food, as well as slowing your pace down and using smaller serving dishes, you may find it much easier to control your portion size and maintain a much healthier diet.

Photo: Grant Cochrane

*This article was written by guest writer, Josh Henningsgaard.

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