Portion distortion at your plate

Pasta Ratatouille Bake – One of my favorite recipes

A good health as well as a poor health are quite often attributed to our diet. There is a limited truth in this. Our age, the height and weight of our body, our lifestyle, and also our hormones, potential medication, and our health status, contribute to how we feel. As far as food can make us feel better, it is good to reflect on our dietary intake.

Good health, good weight, and good food

Although there is an abundant amount of information on the Internet on food, it’s very easy to get totally at loss. Just try to answer the question how you can combine the goal of a steady and acceptable weight, with a good health and exceptional good food. The best I found on the Internet is the ‘weight loss plan’ of the National Health Service (NHS UK – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-the-nhs-weight-loss-plan/).

The NHS-plan comes with a food and activity chart on which you can register the progress you make. The plan clearly transcends the aim of losing weight and aims at a sustainable balance between health, weight, and your dietary intake. The plan provides all kind of suggestions and links, not the least for very tasty recipes. If you’re short on recipes, go to: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes

Fewer calories

The attack on portion distortion is an example of the practicalities of the ‘NHS weight loss plan’. Portion distortion is one of the negative outcomes of the modern welfare state. We put far too many calories on our plates. To get rid of ‘portion distortion’ the NHS advises:

  • Use smaller plates and bowls (and cutlery I might add);
  • Serve two types of vegetables (preferably of different colors);
  • Eat slowly (and chew your food accordingly);
  • Turn off the TV (my advise: dump the TV altogether);
  • Weigh the food you serve (don’t overdo this, try to learn to estimate the calories of your food).

Check the facts with care

The more active we are, the more calories we use. To stay at their preferred weight, men need a daily calorie intake of 2500 Kcal and women 2000 Kcal. If you participate in the ‘NHS weight loss plan’ the idea is that you lower you daily calorie intake to 1900, for men, or 1400, for women.

This is a screen saved copy of the ‘NHS calorie fact checker’. You can’t use this one. If you want to use it, go to: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/calorie-checker/

If you want to be sure how many calories you serve at a meal, try to estimate the weight of the portions you prepare. By adding up the calories of the different portions you eat, you’re able to work out the total calories you take in during the day. Be careful not to turn your search for calories into an obsession.

If you’re uncertain about the amount of calories the ingredients of your meals contain, you can use the NHS calorie checker. There you can find the calories of over 150.000 different foods and drinks. For instance, I discovered that a piece of carrot cake contains ten times as much calorie’s as four small raw carrots. And I love carrot cake. Next time I will share my cake or take only half a portion.

You can also find several apps in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Hannie uses the free version of the Calory, carb and fatcounter by Virtuagym.

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