What is the right portion size? I think that is one of the hardest questions to answer. I was thinking about it yesterday when I was posting the picture of the chicken chili. How do I determine how much to put on my plate? We used to have the food pyramid with carbohydrates on the bottom, followed by fruits and vegetables, then dairy, meats and oils, with sweets at the very tippy-top of the pyramid. Found to be useless.
Today we have MyPlate. It is essentially a drawing of a place setting with the plate cut into four quadrants. It represents the five food groups that are the building blocks of the healthy diet. At the top left is the smallest portion which consists of fruits, as equal in size on the other-side of the plate with protein. Then there are two equal portions as the largest portions of the vegetables and grains. To the side of the plate is a graphic of a cup of milk, with the title, dairy.
The idea is to take into consideration what you are putting on your plate, each time you sit down to eat, but how many of these plates are we supposed to be eating everyday and exactly how much on each plate are we supposed to be consuming?
The difficulty for me is, how do I apply this picture? For me, I find this graphic useless. I mean, how high do I pile the food? In the chicken chili the meat and vegetables are all together, so how much am I to eat at one sitting? It was really good, and it was really easy to go for a huge bowl full and then another. So, when I think about the chicken chili yesterday, the answer for portion size is one ladle full. The carbohydrates in one ladle full equals my carbohydrate intake for the day. The vegetables and proteins are all mixed together making it impossible to be able to identify exactly what portion each is. This is one meal for my day, one MyPla
The dairy intake is actually from the cream I take in my coffee in the morning and the cheese plate that I had for my snack after dinner. My lunch consisted of a hard boiled egg. My fruit intake for the day, were the grapes that I had alongside of my cheese plate (just a handful). No grains for me!
Apparently, people only follow the MyPlate guidelines only 2 percent of the time, and I can see why. It isn't as simplified as one might think. The difficulty is, I think that people try to recreate this image at every single meal time, way overeating and being surprised that they 'appear to be following the guidelines' only fooling themselves that these guidelines represent most of our sedentary lifestyles, when they don't. No wonder 31.2% of the population is of normal range weight, while 33.1% is overweight, 35.7% is obese and 6.3% is extremely obese. People are overeating their daily portions and becoming proportionately obese.