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Battling Out of Control Serving Sizes with Portion Control

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Portion Control. Yes, I cringe when I hear it too. The fact is we all have a hard time controlling our portions; and who wouldn’t with the way food items are served to us these days. If you’ve visited H3 and attended Bob Wright’s Portion Control class, then you’ve seen firsthand how servings have grown out of proportion!

Bob Wright gave us some tips on how to eat healthy while dining out a few days ago, but I would like to help you with controlling portions when in your own home.

We say it over and over again, but environment definitely plays a huge role. Keep your pantry stocked with healthy snack and know the serving size before you start eating. Better yet, separate snacks and meals into baggies or containers to make things easy! We don’t always have the time to prepare food before running out the door, so planning for the unforeseen ahead of time can save you from undoing your whole day.

Pay attention to the serving size and nutrition label on each item you purchase while in the store. It’s not always easy to tell if you’re making the best decision with the way foods are marketed today, so read carefully. (Just because it says ‘less fat,’ it still may not be the best option.) Reading labels while in the store also gives you time to really think to yourself if the serving size is right for you. Don’t set yourself up. If the serving size is too small or unrealistic, choose something else.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, has created a list of foods with what they believe to be unrealistic serving sizes based on the amount of food we consume today. Canned soup was at the top of the list. According to its label, a single serving of Campbell’s Chunky Classic Chicken Noodle soup is one cup — just under half a can — and contains about 790 milligrams of sodium. But in a national survey of 1,000 consumers, only 10 percent of people said they would eat a one-cup portion. (Read more in “The Problem with Serving Size”).

I’m not necessarily saying that we should blame the food companies for having small serving sizes on their products but what I am saying is that we need to be aware. Times have changed and serving sizes have increase with it, so pay attention to your body and what you put in it.

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