IF you’re struggling to lose weight but you’re eating healthily, you may want to look at your portion control.
Most of us don’t really think about how much we’re eating – we’re so busy concentrating on what we stick in our mouths, we don’t consider how much we chow down on.
While you can generally eat endless amounts of dark leafy greens, eating slightly too much chicken or potato regularly can lead to weight gain.
Which is why the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has come up with a helpful portion guide.
We’re all individual and our hunger and activity levels are all going to be slightly different.
While we all need the same kinds of nutrients, how much we need will differ from person to person.
If you’re a 5’4” woman living with a 6’2” guy, you both need the same kinds of food but try to eat the same amount of each and one of you is going to balloon or become malnourished.
The proportion guide is based on a 2,000 kcal diet for average healthy adults.
Every day you should eat:
5+ portions: fruit and veg
3-4 portions: starchy carbs
2-3 portions: beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat
2-3 portions: dairy and alternatives
2 handfuls of dried pasta shapes or rice (75g)
A bunch of spaghetti the size of a £1 coin, measured using your finger and thumb (75g)
The amount of cooked pasta or rice that would fit in two hands cupped together (180g)
A baked potato about the size of your fist (220g)
About 3 handfuls of breakfast cereal (40g)
A piece of grilled chicken breast about half the size of your hand (120g)
A piece of cheddar cheese about the size of two thumbs together (30g)
About 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (20g)
Use a spoon to measure out your daily portion of PB – not a knife…or your fingers![/caption]
About 3 teaspoons of soft cheese (30g)
The BNF says: “If you’re tall or very active you may need more and could have larger portions. If you’re a small person or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.
“If you use the hand measures we give then portion sizes will vary with the size of your hands and so, generally, bigger people will automatically get bigger portions and smaller people will get smaller ones.”
The chances are, if you’re cooking too much food, you’re probably eating too much as well.
So next time you’re preparing dinner, forget weighing stuff out or going by the pot size.
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You can use your hands to measure out how much of which ingredients to use – and it still works even if you’re preparing multiple meals.
Simply multiply your hand sizes by the number of meals or mouths you’re trying to feed.
If you’re cooking for a family of four, cook eight handfuls of dried pasta or rice, for example.
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