What do you base your food portion sizes on? Or do you bother? Have you ever realized that there is conflicting information about portion sizes out there or lack of real guidance? For example, in the United States, the new American Food pyramid (changed over the years) shows the following:
Actually, there are numerous food pyramids I’ve found online, such as the “Energy food pyramid”, “Kids food pyramid”, “Anti-inflammatory food pyramid”, “Real food pyramid”, “Box Turtle food pyramid” (???), “18-22 year olds food pyramid”, you name it.
Do any of the recommended portions of foods above match the serving size suggestions on nutrition information lists of food products in your country? Well, there is not always that much of a correlation. Or what about the commonly known portion sizing based on the palm of your hand? Or for various diets?
Portion sizing can be very confusing indeed. Some diets don’t even give exact recommendations, but rather number of points, or just total calories per day, grams of carbs, or measurements like that. You could find yourself eating all carbs for the calorie allowance, or even sweets. Or have you ever tried the cabbage diet? Oh my!
I know that eating proper portions of foods, and foods in a variety of categories is important for good nutrition. I also know it can be tough to eat the right foods to meet those dietary guidelines.
So often, restaurants serve huge portions that could potentially be enough for two or even up to four people. We also overestimate our hunger (or have excess hunger) that leads us to eat excessively large portions, without a care.
If you have specific health issues or wish to lose weight to improve your health (or even for vanity sake), I would strongly recommend that you consult with your general practitioner for a diet recommendation, and get hints on recommended portion sizes. Do mention if you prefer some foods much more than others. That could affect their recommendation. In my case, I’ve had high cholesterol and high triglycerides for a long time. At one time I was even pre-diabetic. I didn’t even know where to start to reduce these blood levels. I consulted a dietician, though I know that’s not necessary for all people. Knowing ahead of a diet what your eating focus should be is very helpful. Or if you choose your own diet, please choose one that emphasizes healthy well-rounded eating. It is easier to retain such eating lifestyles long-term.
Do you regularly watch your portion sizes, or have a healthy plan in place for food consumption?