By: Tayler Glenn
Choosing healthy, whole foods is a key component of sustainable weight loss and a healthier you. But, even if you’re choosing the right foods, it’s important to choose the correct portions! Portion sizes – how much you’re serving yourself – are easy to get wrong, and they can really set you back over time. So, to help, we’ve got the 5 portion mistakes that set you back and how to correct them!
Have you ever heard of the health halo effect? This is the phenomenon where we tend to see foods that sound healthy as healthier than they really are! This may mean ignoring the sugar content of smoothie bowls or overdoing it at the salad bar. Fortunately, these oversights are easy to correct once you understand the actual portion size of your foods!
3 Portion Mistakes You’re Making
When was the last time you checked yourself on your dressings? A healthy salad is a great healthy meal, but not if you’re dousing it in cream or oil-based dressings! A serving size of salad dressing is just two tablespoons, but if you’re like most then you’re not measuring as you pour. This could mean you’re consuming 2-3 portions which adds up fast!
The Fix: If you order at a restaurant, ask for dressing on the side and be sure not to pour all of it on! If you’re at home, stick to 1-2 tablespoons of a healthy dressing. Try to avoid creamy dressings filled with unhealthy fats and opt for oil and vinegar when you can.
Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream
Frozen yogurt doesn’t have the same hype it did four or five years ago, and we’re okay with that. With topping bars and more creative flavors, many frozen yogurts actually contain more sugar per portion than ice cream! Speaking of portions, a portion of frozen yogurt or ice cream is actually only a 1/2 cup (or 1 scoop). Most of us opt for anywhere from 2-4 cups or sit down with an entire pint!
The Fix: Stick with a single-scoop serving and avoid sitting down with an entire container. If you can’t stick to a portion, try opting for lighter options like nice cream or protein ice cream using your TLS® Shake!
How much of the avocado do you add to your salad? 1/2? Maybe the whole thing? Most of us do, but that’s far more than a portion! It’s great to get in those healthy fats, but overdoing it is still not good for us – yes, even on healthier foods. With over 200 calories in a medium avocado, it’s easy to rack up those calories.
The Fix: Slice an avocado into quarters and eat one, then wrap it up and store it for later. A good rule of thumb is to stick to 1/3 – 1/5 of a medium avocado which is enough to get you those healthy fats!
Like cereal, we tend to pour until the bowl is half full and entirely forget just how many calories and sugars are in the mix. Granola tends to be high in calories and fat as it’s supposed to be a high-calorie fuel food for those engaging in lengthy or strenuous activities, and most of us just aren’t hiking up a mountain when we’re reaching for granola. What’s worse, many store-bought varieties can have up to or over 20 grams of sugar!
The Fix: Stick to homemade versions made with whole grains, spices, and unsweetened dried fruits. When serving yourself, stick to 1/4–1/3 a cup or about what you can fit into one palm.
Especially if you’re a fan, it’s easy to add 2-3 servings to your sliced apples or toss a little extra into your TLS® Shake. You can find a reason to add nut butter to just about anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea! Yes, they have healthy fats and protein. But, they’re also very high in calories that add up quickly.
The Fix: Keep portions down to 1-2 tablespoons and opt for powdered peanut butter if you need to. It often has less calories and blends smoothly into smoothies and shakes or into baked goods!