This week is going to be all about portion control and serving sizes for me. Not too long ago I thought that they were both the same thing but I have now learned that a “portion” is how much food you choose to eat at one time. A “serving” is the amount of food that is listed in the nutritional information on a product. For example you may eat a whole packet of ready made macaroni cheese and think that you have had one serving, when in fact the nutritional information on the packet says that it contains 2 servings.
In modern day society we have much larger portions of food and this is the reason that our plates have gradually got larger. In the 18th Century dinner plates were 7 1/2 inches. By the early 20th century the standard dinner plate in the UK was 10 1/2 inches. This increase in the diameter of the plate in inches, means that we are now able to put 50% more food on the plate, in turn that is 50% more calories without even thinking aout it. When we combine this with the fact that we now do less physical activities than in past decades, higher food in take than calories burned up significantly raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and other health threats that face society today.
There is said to be an association between the size of dinner plates and obesity and this may be true seeing as there is now more obesity than ever and plates are now larger than ever.
This week I am going to be using an 8 inch plate for dinner which is only 1/2 an inch larger than the plate that was used in the 18th Century. I am also going to follow suggested serving sizes for breakfast and lunch. I do not usually have extremely large portions but I would say that there is not much space left over on my usual 11 inch dinner plate!
It will be interesting to see if I am satisfied from eating my dinner on an 8 inch plate, if I am, I will aim to continue having smaller portions as there is no need to over eat every day.
Many people have found the portion control plates that you can buy online very useful. I think that they would be of some use for a short period of time to show you what your serving size should be, but eventually you will just need to learn what is the right amount by looking at it because it is not practical to bring the plate every where.
Below is an example of a portion control plate, there are numerous plate on the market.