Make portions work for you
SERVING a healthy portion of nutritious food is a great step to achieving good physical and mental health, but it's one that many of us struggle with.
Let's just use the size of our plates as an example.
Back in the 1960s the average dinner plate was around 10 inches in diameter.
Fast forward 50 years and our dinner plates are averaging 12 inches.
It may not sound like much but that extra two inches makes a big difference over a lifetime.
What is a serve?
To know how much our body needs is a complex and individual process.
For example, those working in the office will have very different requirements to those working manual jobs.
But the Australian Dietary guidelines are a good place to start.
These provide an evidence-based outline of what a serve is and how many serves we should be having of each food group to maintain good health (Google Eat for Health to view these).
Empowered by this information, you are probably wondering how you can put the guidelines into practice.
The following portion plate is one example. Start with half your plate vegies.
This is the equivalent to three serves and goes a long way to meeting your vegie requirements.
Add in a sensible piece of meat or protein alternative (keep it lean if possible), then finish with a quarter of the plate complex carbohydrates (such as your starchy vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, wholegrain/ wholemeal bread, etc).
If this doesn't fill you up, then go back for seconds - just make sure your plate of seconds follows this ratio.
Mixed dishes like curry or casseroles can also fit into this ratio simply by adding grated vegies into the sauce and/or adding a salad or vegies on the side.
By applying a few simple strategies we can have a dramatic impact on our nutrition, our happiness and our long term health.
What is one change you could make to help you achieve portion perfection?