In my first two blogs (see the February archive on the right of this post) I was talking in fairly general terms about portion sizes, plate sizes, obesity and the simplicity of my Side-Plate Diet.
In this piece, I want to discuss Portion Distortion. No matter how healthily you might be eating, if you eat too much and take in too much fuel and fail to burn it, you will put on weight.
Over ten years ago the UK charity, The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) http://www.wcrf-uk.org/ reported that over the previous 20 years food portions got ever bigger. Burgers were 112% larger than in 1982, pasta servings 480% larger, and chocolate chip cookies 700% bigger. The UK Government has not updated their information on typical portion sizes consumed in the UK for over 20 years.
Dr Jeffrey Prince of the WCRIF said: “Between 1980 and 2003 portion sizes ballooned, and so did people. These two trends occurred simultaneously. Common sense tells you there must be a connection. Most weight loss success stories centre around reduced portion sizes. It’s a simple fact, if you eat less, you’ll lose excess weight”. Since then, things have probably got even worse regarding serving sizes, but the adage ‘eat less, lose weight’ remains true.
Packaging of our food plays an important role. The bigger the package, the more food you’ll pour out of it. When two groups of people were given 1/2 lb or 1 lb bags of M&Ms to eat while watching TV, those given the 1-pound bag ate nearly twice as much. The more you load onto your plate, the more you will eat. There are many studies to back this up (for more in-depth research take a look here: http://www.ifst.org/knowledge-centre/information-statements/psychology-food-intake-and-portion-control ). The NHS recommends, in their information on dieting, that we should be eating with smaller plates and bowls.
Previous Annie Bee posts which cover this topic, in case you missed them, are here:
By only eating off side-plates like I do (for me, 3 a day means I am slowly losing the weight I need to without feeling weak and feeble – clearly the number of side plates will change depending on your gender, age, size etc and I am NOT advocating doing this diet if you do not need to lose weight in a sensible manner) this problem with portion distortion is largely solved for you. NB: I use 7 inch side-plates – make sure you get the size right. There are challenges around ensuring you still get enough fruit and veg, and keeping your food intake healthy and balanced but as long as you don’t snack (I literally now don’t so much as pick up an extra cherry tomato while walking past the fruit bowl) this diet works.
Other bits of diet advice which seem to be universal are: Eat slowly. Put your cutlery down between bites. Don’t eat in front of the TV.
Look out very soon for more in-depth information on the Side-Plate Diet and let me know if you are giving it a go. I would love to receive some photos too.
There are some more pics you might like here https://uk.pinterest.com/buzzanniebee/portion-distortion/
Annie Bee x