Travelling abroad could be a cultural shock… Especially when you travel to Europe!
I’m not talking about landscape, language or even architecture. I am talking about portions. Yep, this article is about what and how much you have on your plate!
For a foreigner visiting the US, or for you coming back from, let’s say France, the average-size plate can seem astronomical. Because it is!
“Research from New York University shows that virtually every food in supermarkets exceeds standard serving sizes. Some “single-serving” foods surveyed were seven times larger than they should be, per standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. (Of course, the big serving-size offenders were cookies.)”
It is often really difficult not to finish your plate. I know it is for me, as I was raised with the “finish your plate before leave the table.” When I liked the food, I even often licked my plate clean. So what happen when I have a huge plate of penne arrabiata in front of me? I finish it, even if it makes me feel sick! No wonder why I keep getting larger. And no, I’m not growing up anymore… But I’m definitely growing out! Unfortunately, I’m not alone…
That situation is uncomfortable, being 10-20 lbs heavier than European woman for the same height 🙁
But it is also dangerous for us!
So what can you do?
The easiest way to control the size of your waist line is to control the size of your portion: serve a smaller plate! That way, even if you finish it all, you’ll eat less calories, but you’ll still feel full.
When going out:
- Share your meal, order a half-portion, or order an appetizer as a main meal.
- Take at least half of your meal home.
- Eat off dessert plates or small bowls like ramequins.
“If you currently eat from 10-inch plates, an 8- or 9-inch plate filled similarly may end up feeling and looking like virtually the same amount of food while in reality being a meaningful reduction.”
- Start by filling half your plate with vegetables, then add grains, proteins and carbs… In that order. If your plate’s full, good for you (still talking about a dessert plate here!)
One comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that prioritizing the addition of low-cal, nutrient-dense foods like veggies to your diet, as opposed to the subtraction of high-calorie foods, is a far easier way to maintain healthy portion sizes for weight loss.
Take a look at this website to find out what you really need: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/foodgroups/proteinfoods_amount.aspx
And what about snacks?
There are tons of snacks that are healthy and still filling while staying low in calories… But you should still keep track of your portions!
- 1 small apple = 78 calories
- 12 raw almonds (unsalted, unroasted) = 82 calories
- 1 large hard-boiled egg = 78 calories
- 1 tbsp peanut butter = 94 calories
- 1 cup of fresh grapes = 62 calories
- 1 single-serve (4 oz) plain & non-fat greek yogurt with cinnamon = 70 calories
And the list goes on. You’ll be surprised by what you can eat to feel satisfied and stay within your calorie-limit!
One more trick…
Often, you feel hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Try to drink a glass of water and wait for 5-10 min. Then, if you’re still hungry, get a small healthy snack. But remember to subtract whatever you ate from your next meal portion…
You could also try a slimming tea. Some of these teas ingredients will make you feel fuller faster. They can also help boost your metabolism so you spend more calories every day.
But, no matter what you decide, do it today and every day!
Hope it helps!