Consider your serving sizes of foods. Did you know the average dinner plate used to be about 22cm across and now is commonly about 30cm? Of course this means the amount of food served is bigger.
The picture shows the recommended amounts of foods for adults, as well as the amount of food that is considered to be a ‘Serve”
Another way is to use the “hand guide” that helps you to visualise as you serve foods how much is considered appropriate.
Another simple thing is to look at your plate. It should be made up of about half veggies or salad and the other half should be the protein and the carbohydrate foods. For instance, your plate might have a portion of chicken ( about the size of your palm), a scoop of rice( around the amount in a cupped hand) on one half of the plate and the other half would be covered by the salad.
Portion sizes have increased with other foods as well. A “serve “ of juice is considered to be 120ml or half a small glass. Yet juice bars and shops with pre packaged fruit juice often sell them at least 600 ml or 5 serves! Watch out for drinks as a source of sugar. Juices, soft drinks, and alcohol all have lots of calories but not much else that is beneficial to health but are easy to drink. Water is, of course, the best drink, but tea and coffee are also great choices. Add a wedge of lemon or lime or mint leaves or ice to your water makes it more appealing.
If you want to check your own eating pattern out and seek some personal feedback there are a couple of online checkers – try the Healthy Eating Quiz from the University of Newcastle or the Healthy Diet Score from the CSIRO. Each one takes about 10 minutes to complete online and gives you some immediate feedback as to how to improve your current eating patterns. There are some great tips and recipes at The Australian Healthy Food Guide website too.
If you think you would prefer more individualised assistance you can consult a dietitian. The simplest way to locate one near you is via Find an APD.
Remember it is your overall eating pattern that will impact your health. Trying to be too perfect isn’t helpful or sustainable. We all enjoy the occasional treat, to eat socially and just for pleasure and we should continue to do this.
Making healthy changes
See if you can set a goal for the next two weeks and next in relation to this content. You will notice that there is a Healthy Changes Activity in Module 2.