Overeating is a difficult habit to release. At Method3 Fitness, this is one of the top issues people looking to lose weight struggle with. It may take some time, but this habit is worth letting go of. There are real consequences to over eating. We’ll share them in this blog and show you a simple way to start portioning your meals today.
How Portions Have Changed Over Time
Change is natural, so it’s no surprise that portion sizes now are very different than they were 30 years ago. The numbers, however, are pretty shocking:
- A turkey sandwich in the 1980’s came in at 320 calories. Now it’s 820.
- A slice of pizza was 500 calories. Now it’s 850.
- Small fries were 210. Now they’re 610.
Those examples are for fast food, but studies also show that even for foods that are considered healthy, the sizes you see on nutrition labels or in restaurants are often 6 or more times larger than portions recommended by the USDA! That adds up to a lot of extra food, maybe even THOUSANDS of calories your body doesn’t need. What’s more troubling is that we’ve gotten used to these larger portions, even though our lives are more sedentary. Our bodies are paying the price.
The Consequences of Overeating
Here’s what happens when you overeat, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center:
- Your stomach expands, pushing against your other organs, leading to discomfort.
- You might feel tired and sluggish, and your clothes will feel tight.
- Your organs have to work harder, secreting extra hormones and enzymes to break down the food.
- Your stomach has to produce hydrochloric acid, which can back up into your esophagus and cause heartburn, especially if you’ve eaten fatty foods.
- Your stomach can also produce gas, making you feel even more full and uncomfortable.
- As your metabolism speeds up to try to burn those extra calories, you might feel hot and sweaty.
- Over time, you can gain excess body fat, upping your risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
- Your body’s digestive enzymes – which are required to break down food – can run in short supply, slowing your digestive system.
- Your body’s clock can get turned around, messing with your sleep and hunger cycles.
If you’ve lost touch with proper portion sizes, the good news is you have a built-in portion guide. It’s your hand!
Your Hand: A Quick Portion Size Guide
Using your hand is a simple way to measure portions in a pinch. No measuring cups needed. Your go-to hand portions are as-follows:
- Fruits and veggies = 1 fist
- Salad = 2 fists
- Protein = 1 palm
- Fat = 1 thumb
- Starchy carbs/grains: a handful
If you’ve been eating big portions for a while (maybe even most of your life!), it can take a little while to get used to the normal portion size. Trust us when we say it’s worth the challenge. Many people report having more energy, better sleep and even stronger workouts when they adjust their portion sizes.
Take Portioning to the Next Level
If you’d like some guidance with your portion sizes, we’re here to help! We’ve helped hundreds of individuals in the South Bay gain control of their portions to lose weight, gain confidence, and get healthier for good through our flagship 35 day fitness, nutrition, and mindset coaching program, Thrive In 35. Thrive In 35 is designed to help you shed lbs, get fit, and gain confidence. It sells out of 75 spots, every time (as it did just recently). Click here to get on the early bird list for the next one.
Stronger for Today,
The Method3 Fitness Team
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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here for a complimentary goal strategy session!