Serving Sizes: Are They Really What They Say They Are?

Serving Sizes:  Are They Really What They Say They Are?

Quick Think Fast! How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a lunchbox pack of granola bars or even cookies?

Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package. Yes, they are proportionately packaged to make you think they contain one serving. The food manufacturers want you to think it’s one serving and get into the habit of eating that amount per serving. Of course they do. You’ll buy more then.

Can YOU Eat Just One?

Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that? If it doesn’t close easily (and they are always packed so they don’t!), how do you “save” the rest?

Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t eat just half the bag: If you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all. It’s just the way we’re wired.

The Perils of Supersizing

Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:

  • Food is meant to be spread throughout the day. Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
  • A surge of glucose is released into your blood stream. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb all that extra glucose. This can make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or head achy.
  • Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.
  • When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience wicked cravings for more food—specifically simple carbs or sweets.
  • Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates.

5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion

  • Don’t over order – go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees. Ask for lunch-size proportions.
  • Choose high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized.
  • Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register that you’re full before you overeat.
  • Drink a large glass (16+ ounces) of water about 15 minutes before you order. And stay hydrated during the day. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
  • Carry your own snacks. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with baby carrots, air-popped popcorn (NOT the microwave stuff), or mixed nuts.

Get even healthier!

Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes (such as chewing your food more thoroughly) can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help making healthier food choices? Let’s talk! Why not schedule a complimentary wellness consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about?

15-Day Mindset Challenge

Do you think you’d like to learn how to eat healthier one step at a time?  Then you might want to consider our free Clean Eats 15-Day Mindset Challenge.  Each day you’ll receive tips to help you create healthy changes in how you eat.  We’ll be holding it again very soon.  If you want more information about this, please contact us.

Image courtesy of Stockimages

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