Lifewatch: Portion control

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - By now you know that eating fruits and vegetables will keep you healthy and looking good, but could it be possible to eat too much of these types of foods?

Chef B.T. Nguyen uses all sense to prepare delectable dishes and believes you don't have to eat in bulk to tackle hunger.

"I think people are satisfied once their taste buds are satisfied and mentally satisfied," said Nguyen.

Dr. Wilfred Aguila says eating is all about portions.  Not only does the doctor treat obesity, he once battled it himself, dropping 60 pounds six years ago.

"The only way I did that was changing my lifestyle," said Aguila.  "Understanding that I don't have to eat everything on my plate, and understanding that yes, I'm gonna be able to eat that again another time."

So how do you know if a portion is the right size?

Grains, like rice, should be the size of a computer mouse.  You can compare beef to a deck of cards, fish to a check book, and cheese to two dominos.

"If you keep that mental picture in your mind, however silly as it might look, you'll remember," said Aguila.

Think about the size of a golf ball to measure peanut butter and a tennis ball to measure an apple.

Remember that calories aren't just in solid foods.  Salad dressing should be only fill half of a shot glass, and use the idea of a coffee mug when pouring milk.

If you think the cutbacks are too harsh, Aguila suggests down-sizing over time.

"Do it gradually, let your body adapt, take your time," said Aguila.  "Let your body get used to eating smaller portions and in the long term you're going to be healthier and you're actually going to end up enjoying it more."

Whether you're at a restaurant or in your kitchen, Aguila says to cut back potions 1/4 at a time.

He says if you keep that up over time, your stomach will get smaller and you'll get full even faster.

Also, everyone has different dietary needs, so it is best to check with your doctor or a dietitian to see what portions are best for you.