Healthy Living Blog,
News & Events

March 1, 2024


Master Portion Control for a Healthier, Happier You

Ever wonder why you feel sluggish after a meal? It might be all about portion control! Understanding the difference between serving size and portion size is the first step to making healthy choices about what and how much you eat.

Serving size is the amount of food listed on a nutrition label, while a portion is the amount you choose to eat at one time. Your portion can include multiple servings.

Why Portion Control Matters

Choosing the right portion sizes is key to managing weight, blood sugar, and overall health.  Large portions can lead to weight gain, difficulty managing blood sugar levels, and hinder diabetes management.  For some medical conditions, a very strict portion control plan may be necessary.  Always consult a healthcare provider or registered dietitian for personalized guidance.

Proper portion control also benefits your gut microbiome, the delicate ecosystem of bacteria in your digestive system.  Large portions can disrupt your gut's ability to absorb nutrients, impacting your overall health.

Signs You're Eating Too Much:

  • Feeling overly full after a meal is a good indicator you've overdone it.
  • Tune into your body's hunger cues. It takes about 20-30 minutes for your brain to register feeling full. Aim to eat slowly and stop when you feel satisfied, not stuffed.

Tips for Smart Portion Control:

  • Snacks: Pre-portion snacks like popcorn, nuts, and candy into small bowls to avoid mindless munching from a bag or box. Consider portion-controlled snack packs like 100-calorie bags of popcorn or individually wrapped dark chocolate for mindful indulgence.
  • Dining Out: Skip appetizers – they're often loaded with calories and can lead to overeating. Opt for a large salad with grilled protein like chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Restaurant portions are notoriously large. Ask for a box to go right away and enjoy half your meal for lunch the next day.
  • Eating In: Plan your portions at the grocery store. Consider the number of people you're cooking for and use serving size guidelines for each recipe component. For example, a chicken breast and pasta dinner for 4 might include 12-16oz of raw chicken, 2-3 cups of cooked pasta, and 2 whole bell peppers.
  • Bulk Up with Veggies: Add extra leafy greens or other vegetables to your meals for more filling, low-calorie goodness.
  • Plan Leftovers: Buying only what you need reduces food waste and limits portion sizes. If you tend to overcook, portion out meals after cooking and store leftovers in the fridge for another day.

By listening to your body and practicing smart portion control, you can enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle. Remember, healthy eating isn't about deprivation – it's about making mindful choices!

At Gencare Lifestyle, we understand the importance of healthy eating for our residents.  We offer delicious, nutritious meals with portion control options to support your well-being.  Contact us today to learn more about our senior living communities and schedule a tour!

- By Jeff Kitchen, GenCare Lifestyle Corporate Culinary Director


- Eat Well. What Are Portion Sizes & Do They Matter?

- American Heart Association  

- Cleveland Clinic. What Is Your Gut Microbiome?

- Seattle Times


Download PDF

Ready to Schedule a Tour?

Contact Us Today