By Lauren Hannaford, NAB RunWest Nutrition partner
When it comes to food it’s a good idea to take note of how much we are actually consuming. We have become a society of over eaters and gradually over time the population has been gaining more and more weight. Australia has one of the highest levels of obesity in the world and yet our climate and lifestyle suggest that it should be the opposite.
I believe two of the main reasons for this is the amount of sugar we are consuming and the amount of food in general we are consuming. We should eat to feel satisfied, not eat to feel full. Growing up we are often told to finish everything on our plate. That’s all well and good as a growing child but as an adult if you are full then stop eating. It’s ok to leave a little bit of food on the plate.
It’s time to turn things around and take note of exactly how much food we are eating on a daily basis. As an exercise for a whole week write down exactly how much food you eat, including, soft drinks, fruit juices and alcohol. Be completely honest and also take note of portion size and compare it to the chart below. Doing an exercise like this gives you a reality check of how much food you are consuming and then hopefully it gives you the realisation of how much food you really need to survive and get through the day.
Let’s GET REAL and change the over-eating pattern we have all fallen in to.
How is your plate sizing up?
It’s so important to be conscious of not only WHAT food we are eating but also HOW MUCH food we are eating. Taking note of how much food is going on our plate is a really great place to start. Here is really simple and eﬀective way to set out your plate for your meals.
Protein – White fleshed fish, Beans, Peas, Lentils & Skinless chicken
Carbohydrates & Good Fats – Brown rice, Potato, Sweet potato, Avocado, Beans (pinto & black)
Vegetables & Salad – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Carrot, Tomato, Lettuce
This is a guide of the proportions you should use regardless of whether you are using a plate or not.
So – If you are making a sandwich for example half of the filling should be salad, a quarter protein – such as meat, chicken, tuna etc and the other quarter carbohydrate – such as bread. To reduce the amount of bread it’s best to have an open sandwich so you are just having one slice.
If you want to you can always substitute the bread with rice cakes, which is a good alternative.