Contributed by Winona Benson, Nourished Health Coaching Services
Quick Quiz: How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a lunch box pack of granola bars?
Hint: It’s not “one”. Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package.
Can You Eat Just One?
Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?
Don’t beat yourself up if the answer is no: 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. 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 headachy.
• 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.
• 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 you’re full before you overeat.
• Get enough water. 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 or 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 in making healthier food choices? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today, or pass this offer on to someone you care about!
I have been working in the field of health and nutrition for the past nine years. I recently graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “road map to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences and goals.