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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Know Your Food Portion Sizes and Effects on Your Health

Measure and weigh to understand what one portion looks like:
Different foods have different portions, so in order for you to understand what one portion of each food looks like measure or weigh the food once to get a fair idea. For instance, if you want to reduce the oil you use for your daily cooking measure out 4-5 teaspoons at the start of the day and attempt to cook all meals in that much oil. Here’s a handy guide to portions of common foods:

1 serving roti = 6-inch diameter
1 serving dosa = 8-inch diameter
1 serving idli = size of a Marie biscuit
1 serving of rice/pasta/poha = size of a tennis ball
1 serving of bread = size of an audio cassette tape
1 serving milk = 150 ml
1 serving curd (yoghurt) = size of a cricket ball
1 serving paneer = 6 dice-sized pieces
1 serving dal/beans/chole = size of a tennis ball
1 bowl cooked vegetable = size of a tennis ball
1 serving fruit = length of a light bulb
1 serving soup = size of a CD
1 serving salad = size of a CD
1 serving chutney/sauce = size of a carrom board coin
1 serving cooked meat, fish, poultry = size of a deck of cards
1 serving cheese = a pair of dice
Avoid going for seconds: Once you have understood what a portion looks like in your plate, serve yourself that portion once and avoid the temptation to go back for seconds. Put all the food you are going to eat in that meal on your plate together and you won’t end up feeling deprived. Be resolute in your food choices, and avoid taking small portions of food from several categories just to ‘try’ as that too increases your total calorie load.
Divide your plate: Mentally divide your plate into three portions. Save the largest portion for a salad or grilled vegetables. Based on what you want to achieve weight-wise, if it is lunch time then the carbs and proteins can be in equal proportion, while if it is dinner and you are looking at dropping the kilos, the carbs to protein ratio can be 1:2.
Read labels carefully: Some diet-friendly foods may be lower in calories than their regular counterparts—if you eat a single portion. However just because the label says ‘low-fat’ or ‘sugar-free’, never fool yourself into thinking that unlimited amounts are okay to eat. Scrutinise the label and keep the fat and sugar content per portion in mind and make an informed choice.
Maintain a record of what you eat with portions: Writing a food diary with the number of portions of what you eat will help you monitor when you are in control, if control is lost and how both of these can directly affect your weight. In my experience, people who maintain a food record are able to keep better track of their calorie intake and are actually able to lose weight faster.
Source: From Samreedhi Goel who is a Mumbai-based nutritionist, fitness expert and proprietor at Size Wise The Fitness Studio. You can contact her

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