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3:50 AM 2nd July 2020

Heart Research UK Healthy Tip - Portion Size

Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK

Control your portions!

If you need to lose weight, it is important to think about the quantity of food you are eating as well as the types of food and drink you choose. Food portions tend to be larger today than they were thirty years ago and this is contributing to weight gain. Controlling your portion sizes doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. We provide you with some tips to control your portion sizes and achieve a healthy weight.

Weigh your portions

Check food labels for recommended portion sizes and make sure you weigh out the correct amount. If you are following a recipe, weigh out the ingredients correctly and take note of how many people the recipe serves. You can adapt recipes according to the number of people you are cooking to avoid having too much food. You can access more information about portion sizes from the British Nutrition Foundation: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/find-your-balance/portionwise.html

Eat more slowly

If you eat quickly, it is easy to overeat. By eating more slowly, you allow time for your brain to recognise when you are full. If you still feel hungry after eating a meal, don’t be tempted to reach for the snacks. Wait twenty minutes after a meal for your food to settle. If you are still hungry after that time, try eating some fruit.

Use smaller plates or bowls

If you serve meals onto a large plate or bowl, you may find that you are serving portions that are too large. Try using a smaller plate or bowl for your meals and you should still feel satisfied.

Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK
Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK
Avoid supersize portions

When buying food, avoid being tempted by offers of supersize portions or discounts for buying in bulk on less healthy food and drinks. These offers can tempt you into buying more than you need, which can lead to you eating more than you need.

Turn off the TV

Try eating your meals and snacks away from the TV as this can lead to overeating because you are not thinking about your food.

Lots more healthy tips, exercises and recipes can be found at heartresearch.org.uk