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Northampton Chronicle & Echo 24/1/19

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 24/1/19

Thursday 24th January 2019
The Barefaced Eating Blogger

Portion Problems

It's that time of year when many of us are questioning the waist band. Christmas came and went; the cheese boards and selection boxes were consumed in bulk and let's not think about the alcohol. Some of us have already embarked on Dry January, a new diet, or a gym membership to try and work off the unwanted pounds. But what really happens to many of us?

If you find the days are too short, the nights too dark, the diets and gym too expensive or the settee too comfy, maybe a different look at losing weight and getting fitter would be welcome? It is notoriously hard to bring a new eating or exercise regime in to practice in January. Intentions start well, motivation is high, but it gets hard, quickly. The soft, cosy trousers (not to be seen out) are pulled on and the Box Sets are calling. Guilt sets in and suddenly, all the good intentions are outside with the recycling and the bad food choices come creeping back in again.

How about a look at things in a more realistic way? Many of us love food, we have had a good idea with what we should be eating due to being well educated through the media. However, one question I get asked a lot is "I'm eating all the right things, but why am I am not losing weight?". When spoken to in more detail, it is quite right, these clients are putting together nutritious meals, but one thing that is lost, is the portion. When I have looked at their plates and amount of food consumed, the answer is quite apparent.

We are all guilty of over eating. This is not always our fault though. We reach for healthier choices and have learned to read the packets, but they can be very misleading. Have you seen the fat, sugar and calories per serving and tucked in without further thought? Some of these "per servings" are for half the packet (not obvious) and the worst ones, some of the servings can only be aimed at very small children! One of the worst offenders is breakfast cereals. Have you ever actually weighed out one serving, as suggested, to see how much cereal you are getting for your calories/fat/sugar? You'll be shocked.

So, a realistic and easy way to lose a few pounds and feel a little healthier, would be to start by making your portions smaller and being a bit more active. This image is of the NHS Eatwell Food Guide and it's a tool to use to help you see what proportions of different foods to eat. The main part of your meal should be vegetables and fruit. Followed by the carbohydrate (bread, potatoes, rice) and then protein (fish, meat, beans, lentils), then a small amount of dairy (low fat options best) and a little bit of fat (olive and vegetable oils). Getting the types of food right is great but eating the correct quantity is just as important.

Need help?
Look at the palm of your hand. This is your general portion control.
Fruit and Veg = 2x palms
Carbohydrate = 1-2 palms (only 1 if you want to lose a little weight)
Protein = 1 palm
Dairy = A matchbox size
Fat = 1 tsp

These are recommendations of every meal you eat, so think about your breakfast in particular. That large bowl of high sugar granola isn't the best choice here.

If you exercise more (walks, jogs, gardening, extreme hoovering, generally being more active) AND you eat the correct portions, keeping snacks and alcohol at a minimum, you should find that weight loss does follow.

So, the expensive gym and fad diets may produce weight loss too, but if you can't sustain them, don't beat yourself up and fall back into the old habits. Just love the small changes you can make towards a healthier you.