By: Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAN, Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training
Small changes can yield great results. Our series continues on this fascinating idea: how serving and plating food can influence how much we eat.
January is all about resolutions so over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about the big nutritional benefits you can get from making just a few small changes.
We started with little adjustments you can make when you’re buying food, and in the last post, I suggested some ways in which you could make changes in the way you prepare your foods to shave calories and make them healthier.
You might already be reaping some benefits if you’ve been trying to make these changes – and you may even be thinking that there isn’t a whole lot more tweaking you can do. However, a little fine-tuning in the way your foods are served can affect your food intake, too.
When you’ve taken the time to shop smart and cook healthfully, it’s easy to assume that how much you eat doesn’t really matter that much. But I see so many people in my practice who eat really, really well – they just eat way too much. So, controlling your portions does matter – even when your plate is filled with “healthy” foods – if you’re trying to keep your calories in check.
The idea that “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” really applies here. When you’re loading up your plate, you’re relying on what you see to determine your portion, which is often a lot more than you can – or should – eat.
We are programmed to finish whatever is put in front of us, whether it’s a lot or a little. That’s your “portion.” And the only way you know that you’re finished eating is when the empty plate tells you, “I’m done.”