Control your Portions

Portion Control


Over the past couple of decades the portion sizes that we are consuming have changed dramatically. Research has found that portions have grown over the last twenty years  not just in restaurants but in our home also. Some foods have doubled in size including scones, burgers and bagels.Options like “Supersizing” and “ All you can eat buffets” have become increasingly popular. But why have our portions gotten so big and our perception of “normal” portion sizes become so distorted?


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Portion Size Vs Servings

Portion size is the amount of food you choose to eat during a single sitting while as serving is a standardized measure of food or drink.

Portion Distortion

Producing food is now cheaper than it was 20 years ago meaning it is also cheaper to buy for consumers. This has an immense appeal to us to buy more which contributes to the “Portion Distortion” problem. This cause us to expect larger portions and overlook the fact that the portions we are eating are exceeding the recommended serving sizes.

What should my plate consist of? 

Your plate for every meal should contain a mixture of food groups. 1/2 consisting of fruits a vegetables, 1/4 of proteins and 1/4 of starches.

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Obesity and Portion Sizes

The obesity epidemic that Ireland is facing is a complex problem, with Ireland set to be the most obese country in Europe within a decade according to studies. Such dramatic increase in portion could be partly to blame for this. Healthy eating is about is about getting the right amount of nutrients needed to maintain good health as well as eating the recommended number and size of servings. Tackling the problem of misunderstanding of portion sizes is one way to help the ongoing obesity issue.

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Top Tips to Reducing Portion Sizes

  • Use a smaller plate
  • Eat slowly
  • Avoid eating while watching tv
  • Resist second servings
  • Freeze or chill leftovers
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables or salad
  • Include high fiber foods in your daily intake
  • Drink water  


If you are unsure if you are overeating in your portions consult your Nutritionist or Dietitian.

Bye for now


Nutritionist at Fit Hub Letterkenny

Please do not pass the Sugar

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Do you have any idea how much sugar you are eating? Its probably a lot more than you think.


Eat less sugar in 5 steps 


Rethink your Drink

Put down the apple juice and skip the lattes. We may be conscious of the sugar in our foods however we forget that what we drink contains sugar too. Did you know there are 39 grams of sugar in a can of Coca Cola?

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Don’t Eat it for breakfast 

The average cereal contains on average 25 grams of sugar. Thats almost your entire daily intake in one sitting.Choose a balanced breakfast with complex carbs and proteins instead.


Get Saucy

Many of us add sauces to our meals without knowing what the sugar content is. Try making homemade sauces, in my opinion they taste better. Did you know Dolmio Bolognese Original sauce has over 7 grams of sugar per portion.


Get your Beauty Sleep

Many studies have shown when we get less than 7 hours sleep a night our hunger hormone grehlin increases and we crave sugar to give us that lift we need to get through the day. On the other hand our hormone leptin (The I am full hormone) decreases. The more balanced these hormones are the more likely we are to experience these sweet cravings.


Infuse your water

Infuse your water with fruits and citrus. This will bring some zest into your life without all the added fructose. Herbal teas do the trick too.


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Sugar Shockers

Did you know that there are more than 200 types of added sugars in processed food and drinks. Added sugars are used in more than 75% of products sold in supermarkets, and are often in unexpected items such as bread.


How can added sugar affect the body? 

Liver: your liver has to work extra hard to process added sugar if you eat too much of it. Excess sugar in the liver often turns to fat. This fat can build up and lead to liver damage or other health concerns such as heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes.


Brain: added sugar can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol. If affects the same regions of the brain which triggers the pleasure sensors to release dopamine. Dopamine will make you want to eat more even when your’e not hungry.


Pancreas:  too much added sugar intake can overload and damage your pancreas. The pancreas controls the blood sugar called insulin that powers your muscles and organs. Lack of insulin can cause muscle and nerve damage.


Bye for now


High Fat Foods that are Good for You.

For years fat was considered a no no in the dietary world. People switched to low fat and fat free products, boycotting the yolk of the egg while drinking skimmed milk. But when we look closer fat isn’t our enemy.

Fat is an essential part of our diet. It helps with our brain functioning, metabolism, our immune system and helps to stabilize blood sugars.

It is important to know which fats are the good fats. Knowing the difference is the key to a good diet.


What are the main types of fat?

There are three main types of fat. 


  1. Unsaturated Fats: these are the good kinds of fats, they lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL).
  2. Saturated Fats: these can also be good for you but should be eaten in moderation.
  3. Trans Fats: these are also known as hydrogenated fats and should be avoided as much as possible.


Your Good Fat List 

  • Avocado: higher in potassium than bananas, loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, high in fiber and they can decrease your bad cholesterol and increase the good.


  • Fatty Fish: including salmon, sardines and mackerel, fatty fish are rich in omegas 3’s which many people are deficient in.


  • Nuts: such as walnuts, almonds, and macadamia,they help to control blood sugar and are also a good source of protein and fiber. They are high in vitamin E and magnesium, a mineral that many lack.


  • Seeds: chia, flax, hemp and pumpkin have anti inflammatory properties as well as being high in protein, fiber, vitamins and omegas.


  • Olive Oil: studies have shown that it can actually increase your risk of heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and benefits insulin levels.


  • Eggs: they have an exceptionally bad reputation for being high in cholesterol.However studies have shown in most people that the cholesterol in eggs does not effect that in the blood.They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and high in omega 3’s. Just don’t throw away the yolk as that is where most of the nutrients are found.



Bye for now,