The food portion and in particular its size, is an issue very important for all nutritionists.
The elements of this matter regard the way this portion as calculated falls within the allowable limits. Very important points being vital for any person, concerning not only its life but any process that involves weight or fat loss.
Many questions requiring the right answer to enable the individual to apply them in the correct way.
In today’s article interesting factors about food and its quantity are examined and a number of information come to the person’s assistance.
Surely, the important point to make clear, regards the food portions and their size for consumption. The discussion deals not only with the personal portions, but also with those served at the various restaurants, as well.
The differences between them offer a point for discussion while a way to organize the home meals with the right amounts comes as a suggestion useful for any person involved.
In more detail, we see:
A “portion” of food is a unit of measurement making easier for people (or at least should be) for them to understand serving sizes.
However, as the concept of portion size is highly subjective, in most cases, the portion served does not correspond to the portion of the individual for a complete and healthy meal.
In most cases, people reach extremes, increasing the food added to their plate, resulting in increase of body weight.
Nevertheless, could we say that there is a specific amount for a portion of food?
Yes, there is and it’s very significant to follow it faithfully.
You may ask why. Here is the thinking behind it.
Just 100 grams more per food portion in everyday life, could lead a person in a period of one year to gain weight of about 5 kg.
Therefore, you may wonder how you finally gained weight while your diet (as you thought) remained constant.
Now you know.
A portion of food, however, is not the same for everyone. As expected, it is not possible for children to have a food portion equal to that of adults.
Similarly, the portion of food that a man’s body needs is not the same as that for a woman’s body needs.
Certainly, there are differences (defined by experts: doctors & nutritionists) in the case of people suffering from a condition requiring a special diet (such as diabetes).
Furthermore, the portion of food changes when the person wants to lose weight, gain weight or maintain its original weight. The initial weight of the person and its final goal will determine the sizes of its meals.
Finally, it is important for a person to become familiar with portion sizes but this is not everything, as should also learn to analyze how many nutrients a portion of food should consist of and in what quantities are present on plate.
It’s a relatively complex process (at least at the beginning), aiming at improving the overall health, a fact of substantial importance and that’s what matters.
As already mentioned, a food portion in a restaurant is not the same as a portion of homemade food.
Besides, a portion of food focused on weight loss may not be the same as a regular portion of food (maintenance portion).
In the case of people following a special diet due to illness or diet for weight loss, the help of a specialist scientist (a nutritionist) is important.
The size of our meals determines the energy we feel during the day, our health, mood, even our sleep. An unbalanced diet is very likely – in addition to all the other health problems caused – to lead even to sleep disorders and severe exhaustion.
An athlete’s food portion, for example, is measured in a completely different way, as nutritional needs are completely different (again depending on the frequency / intensity / and type of training).
Today we focus on the healthy food portion, meaning that the portion needed to stay healthy and maintain a stable body weight.
In packed food is much simpler to control the amount of each nutrient consumed.
There is a label on the back of each package with the nutritional performance of the specific food.
However, what happens with the food consumption at home and what is the situation eating at a restaurant.
How can you control how much you eat and not “go beyond” the allowed limits?
In this case, great help is the knowledge of body’s food needs.
The amount of meat and vegetables needed.
Eat sweet or not?
The amount of cheese allowed with the meal and that of cereals for breakfast forming a portion.
Below we see what a portion in terms of quantity means a healthy diet.
An additional help, however, can be a smart application on the mobile (health application) including a calorie counter and a meal diary.
This way you can have a more “tangible” picture of meals, which you can refer to for nutritional information.
These applications usually combine physical activity trackers, recording and taking into account the calories burnt daily.
Having an overall picture of the day is easier to spot the “mistakes” and correct them.
Here again we focus not only on the quantity but also the quality of any portion formed.
The “portion” of the meal we usually refer to, in fact should refer to portions of nutrients per meal.
The above means that we must ask ourselves: “How many vegetables should I eat? How much is a portion of meat? How many carbohydrates should be in a proper meal? ”
An easy way to “measure” the food portions you serve is your palm. Besides, we are not all familiar with food scales, volumetric meters, etc.
What constitutes a healthy meal is not subjective.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a circular, stating specifically that 1/2 of our total meal should consist of fresh fruits & vegetables, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This practically means almost 7 portions of vegetables per day and 2 fruit portions respectively.
Here is general information on how a meal should be “structured” (1 portion):
However, these measurements are not easy to apply in practice.
What 1/4 mean to be protein? How many nuts with yogurt can be a right portion?
This is why we try to give the measurements recommended by the World Health Organization with a unit of measurement more “friendly” to all, the palm of the hand.
So in practice we would say that a portion of food corresponds to the metric system of the palm as shown below:
Below the recommended quantities per food for men and women.
men: minimum 5 portions
women: minimum 5 portions
men: 8 portions
women: 7 portions
men: 3 portions
women: 2 portions
men: 3 portions
women: 3 portions
men: 2 portions
women 1 serving
Using as guidance the above tables you can better organize the meals during the day and achieve the personal goal.
The main goal remains, the health issue, this being the healthiest way to eat.