The Association for Dietetics (ADSA) in South Africa held a Twitter Talk on #HealthyNutrition4All, which highlighted how South Africans are becoming one of the most obese populations in the world! Some of that is attributed to unhealthy lifestyle habits, but a hefty portion can contribute a lot to the statistic. Here, dietitians, The Heart & Stroke Foundation SA, FoodBank SA, Soil For Life and the Department of Health share tips on measuring your meal’s healthy portion sizes – without a scale.
Use The Plate Model
The Heart Foundation recommends using a plate to estimate how much starch, meat and vegetables you should eat. Half your plate should be veggies, a quarter starch and the rest protein.
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Use Your Hands
Dietician Maryke Gallagher advises that you should measure food with your fist. One portion of fruit should be the size of your fist. Also use your palm to measure how much protein, etc. you should be eating. A palm is the size estimate of your protein portion, your fist is the size of a starch portion and your full hand (or more) is the size of a veg portion.
Know When You’re Full
Dietician, Karlien Duvenhage, believes it’s important to be in tune with your body and start learning when you are hungry or full.
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The Heart Foundation suggests you eat out of a small bowl, with smaller utensils and cups to make the meal appear ‘fuller’. Use a smaller bowl for rice and noodle dishes instead of a giant one; try eating your regular meals from side plates instead of full-size plates. This tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating a bigger meal and also makes you feel more satisfied with what you’ve eaten if it looks like a large portion of food, when really it’s a healthy portion.
Your Portion Size Go-To Guide
Meat should be the size of a deck of cards; carbohydrate portions (rice, bread, noodles and spaghetti) the size of a tennis ball; fat (bacon rind, oil, mayonnaise), the size your thumb; and veg is a free for all, according to dietician Jade Seeliger.
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