Portion control is the key!

How many times have you eaten out and received a serving that was large enough for two? These days this seems to happen more often than not as out meal sizes are on the incline. Restaurants offer "free" sides of soup, salad and bread, and we eat it, on top of our gigantic main meal!

Many people go through their lives oblivious to how much food we are actually supposed to eat in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. If you go out to dinner and order a chicken fillet with a marinara sauce you are very likely to receive a piece of meat that is over 1.5 lbs (over 300g). This is actually much larger than the recommended size, which is a piece of meat that is the same size as your palm. Not your palm, fingers and wrist but just your palm!

I often share a meal with my partner if we are going to a restaurant that has large servings. That way you can enjoy the salad and also a desert if you want while not consuming a large portion of calories and still eating a reasonably sized meal.

Despite ever increasing portion sizes many people are still heading out and ordering a starter, entree and desert. Where are they putting all the food? I know it is unique to a number of cultures to leave food on they table, but this isn't always the case in most Western restaurants!

Finish everything on your plate!

Many of us have been brought up in homes where we were taught to "finish everything on your plate". This is all well and good when you are 5 and have an aversion to peas, however as adults the deeply embedded trait remains.

This is particularly dangerous to our waist lines as that average meals size slowly increases each year. For example, check out the Department of Heath and Humane Services "Portion Distortion Quiz" - 20 years ago the average cheeseburger had 333 calories, however today the average cheeseburger has 590 calories! Over 250 extra calories! I imagine that most of the people ordering the cheeseburger didn't really notice the change in the size because it was so gradual over the years.

It has taken me a very long time to learn how to leave food on my plate, to listen to my body and let it tell me when I am full. This is a really important lesson to teach yourself as it will mean that you can order meals that are higher in calories (e.g. creamy or oily) and only eat a "normal potion" rather than everything you have been given.

Check out this portion serving card to see what a "normal portion" really is.