We have all heard that eating smaller portions of food is healthier for us, but how exactly is it healthier, and what health benefits can come from eating smaller meals?
It’s no surprise that restaurant portion sizes in the western world have doubled or tripled over the last 20 years, which is a key contributing factor to a potentially devastating increase in obesity among children and adults. If you’re served more, you will eat more without even questioning it. These portions have distorted what is perceived as ‘normal’, and this also affects what we serve in our homes as well.
Making better food choices, and eating smaller portions can benefit people that are struggling with weight loss by curbing cravings and reducing your overall caloric intake. Put simply, if you eat large meals with higher carbohydrate and calorie content, blood glucose levels can rise rapidly. This makes it more likely that your pancreas will produce too much insulin, leading to low blood sugar. With increased blood insulin levels, your brain thinks that you need more glucose and you start to feel hungry again. This is when you’re more likely to reach for those quick and unhealthy sugar hits!
You can avoid this negative cycle of high and low blood sugar, and keep glucose and insulin levels stable, by eating small frequent meals with a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Organisation is key. Make sure you visit to the grocery store at least one a week and stock up on fresh produce and proteins. Spend one day a week preparing ready-made meals for the week ahead and portioned out into containers.
If you lead a busy lifestyle or find it hard to prepare too many meals in advance, it’s essential to keep small and nutrient-rich snacks within reach! For example, keep multiple small snap-lock bags with mixed nuts in your handbag or glove box, keep some yogurts in the work fridge or start a fruit bowl at your desk – bring all of your fruit at the beginning of the week so you don’t forget!
Remember, if you fail to prepare, you’re preparing for failure.
Eating large portions is a habit that many of us struggle to overcome, especially for those who have a long history of eating large portions, those with large families who often celebrate by overeating or for those who struggle with binge eating habits. If you have tried to lose weight in the past and continually fail to make the changes that you need to live a healthier life, you could consider other options. Please speak to your GP regarding these.