By Mr. Luke Coutinho
Adviser of Integrative Lifestyle and Nutrition at Purenutrition.me
Unhealthy forms of food intake, as well as excess energy consumption, plays a major role, burdening the non-communicable diseases that are responsible for more than two-thirds of deaths globally. In recent times, increase in portion size have arose parallelly with an increase in the commonness of obesity. A plodding upsurge in the portion sizes of commercially-available foods are known to cause ‘passive’ overindulging and have been associated to the occurrence of the universal obesity crisis.
Consuming large-sized portions of foodstuff brings many outcomes, both in the long and the short term. With increasing cases of obesity, it becomes vital to look for the food practices that are taking a toll on human well-being in order to shun them.
Research shows that individuals who constantly consume more non-alcoholic drinks and foods when offered larger-sized packages or portions, or when using larger objects of tableware. Hence, it has been found that intentionally decreasing the size, handiness and appeal of larger‐sized portions, tableware and packages may lessen the amounts of food that individuals select and devour by meaningful quantities.
Interventions that can help in cutting down the portion sizes
1. Pick smaller-sized tableware: The upsurge in the pervasiveness of obesity has concurred with a growth in portion sizes of foods both outside and inside the home. If huge portions are offered over many days, consumption rises gradually. Sustained eating of nutrient-poor foods and large portions of energy‐dense is unhealthy. Portion-size outcome (when more is offered, more is consumed) has a direct association with energy intake.
2. Fill half your platter with fruits and veggies: Because vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and water, integrating them in the diet can lessen energy density, uphold satiety and decrease energy intake. During a current research, it was observed that when individuals consumed portions of low-energy-dense foodstuffs, this evidenced to be a more positive weight loss tactic than fat-reduction combined with the restraint of portion sizes.
3. Include protein in your meals: Protein usually surges levels of fullness to a better extent than fat or carbohydrate and may ease a decrease in energy consumption. Foods rich in protein are also linked with augmented thermogenesis (generation of heat in the body), which also impacts satiety and rises energy expenditure. Protein-rich foods can help us feel full and curb appetite that too at a low calorie cost.
4. Start your food with salad or soup: Consumption of a low-energy meal preload such as salad or soup curbs the overall energy intake. Intake of low-energy-dense first course also augments satiety which further leads to the reduced portion size of your meals.
5. Drink water before meals: Water consumed before a meal has been found to decrease energy intake amongst non-obese elder adults. Meal energy consumption is found to be considerably less in the water preload condition when matched with the no-preload condition. Consuming a glass of water with 1 tbsp of ACV 30 minutes before a meal also helps in feeling satiated sooner.
6. Chew your food thoroughly: Chew food thoroughly before gulping can help you lessen the calorie consumption. Numerous studies have found that people with weight problems compared to people with normal weight, tend to chew their food much less. The usual calorie intake can decline by 9.5% when you chew 1.5 times more than usual and nearly 15% when you chew double as much as usual.
7. Enter a state of mindfulness before eating: Being more mindful while eating can aid avoiding overindulging by helping you heed to the signs that your body directs. Saying a short prayer of gratitude and breathing deeply for a few seconds and can help you connect with your food and be more attentive about how much you are eating.
The global commonness of overweight and obesity has increased significantly over the past thirty years with no nation yet attaining a reduction. National and International determinations to “lessen non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025” and “end childhood obesity” are unmatched by guidelines that could understand them. Hence, it becomes imperative to take actions in the direction of dipping the portion size at an individual level without being dependent on policies and market interventions to reduce the availability, size and plea of big portions.