I'm asked about this often and yes, we enjoy eating out as a family but we are aware and cautious of portions and try our best to practice balance, although sometimes the temptations are overwhelming...
Restaurants offer many extras like breads or chips, which offer extra calories, sodium and fat while offering little to no nutritional benefits. Be aware!
Some of their portions tend to be 2-3 times a serving which cause overeating by most children and adults.
Convenient stores also offer larger portions at a reduced price while offering convenience so they are packaged in larger sizes to sell more and offer that, more for your money, feeling to the consumer.
Let's find the difference between the two:
Portion- is how much food you choose to eat at one time. The choice on portion is OURS!
Serving Size- is the amount of food listed on a product label. All the values you see on the label are what that manufacturer suggests in regards to that product.
Grains- 1 slice of whole wheat bread, 1 oz. dry cereal, 1/2 c cooked rice, pasta, oats (about the size of a baseball)
Veggies- 1 c raw, leafy veggies (Small fist), 1/2 c cooked veggies
Fruits- 1 med fruit (baseball-sized), 1/4 c dried fruit, 1/2 c fresh fruit
Protein/Meats- 3-4 oz cooked meat (size of computer mouse), 3-4oz grilled fish (size of a checkbook)
Fats/Oils- 1tsp oil or margarine, 1 tbsp low fat salad dressing, clear in color is best.
Nuts/Seeds- 1/3 c nuts, 2tbsp PB, 1/2 dry beans
Sweets/Sugars in moderation!!!
What are some ways you can help yourself and your family consumer smaller portions with each meal?
If you cook at home- Serve single serving to all members of your family then package up the leftovers and put it away! Helps prevent overeating and going back for more from the less nutritional items which tend to cause compulsive eating.
When at a restaurant- Stay away from the "extras" such as chips and bread...instead, order a large salad for the family to share before the meal, then portion out your entree and split with another family member or simply package it up early to avoid overeating!
Make the living room a NO FOOD ZONE! When you eat while watching TV, reading or on social media, you'll tend to eat more because you aren't thinking about what/how much you're consuming. Keep the food in the kitchen and it will help with those temptations all together! If you must munch through the movie, split it as a family and lighten it up by using air popped popcorn and choose salt free toppings or none at all!
SNACKING- Portion it out by serving size and then put it away before eating! NEVER eat from the box, container or bag! It's almost guaranteed that you'll eat too much when it's ALL there for you to grab! It's harder for the brain to shut it down when your hand is dipping in over and over again! We make the choice so CHOOSE WISELY!!!
*A size of cheese is about the size of a domino so think about that when grabbing some cheese/crackers for a "snack", it's less than you think so pay attention!!!
I was the QUEEN of overeating! I could eat an entire bag of Doritos with a sandwich, if I was caught "hungry" so stay aware, don't skip meals-you'll set yourself up for overeating once you do eat, so why not fuel properly and frequently rather than overeating all at once? The body can't work THAT hard to break down the bulk amount of food you consume. It's about moderation and balance for the body to perform at its best. We don't add TOO much fuel to our vehicles or they won't run properly...same with our bodies, fuel it right and properly and it'll run just as it should!
Obesity and Childhood Obesity rates are rising when they should be falling...
We must come together to educate ourselves and our families so we understand our bodies, proper nutrition and how to be healthy. It takes ALL of us working together!
Unhealthy foods can be the "easier" option when life gets hectic. Take a moment, STOP and think about your body and what it needs vs. what's "easy"...then you should be able to make the healthy choice! Make good decisions when it comes to the foods you eat. You cannot out-exercise a poor diet, trust me I TRIED and I failed over and over again! It's the unfortunate truth. It's about calories in vs. calories out! Find that happy balance and you'll feel like a completely different person and those effects will trickle down to all members of your family! Keep at it and understand your body.
If you feel bad when you eat bad, then STOP EATING BAD!!! Hello???! Seems easy, right?!
Keep introducing new foods and exercises to your children and family...never give up! Our taste buds evolve IF we expose them to new things. If we add salt to EVERY thing we eat, our taste buds only know salt, same goes for sugary sweets...we crave what we know. Find new, healthy things for the body to crave! It works, I promise. If the girl that was addicted to fast food, ate it at least once a day, some days 2-3...then anybody can change! I wouldn't write it if I didn't mean it! Make the changes today! It's NEVER too late! Small changes make a big difference so don't give up after weeks of trying...it might take months, maybe years but isn't it better to push toward a better life than to sink into an unhealthy one? YES!!!!!