Food portions do really matter

BY: Wise Chukwudi Letsa

The fact is that a lot of any food which contains some source of energy will make its energy available to the consumer.

The abundant energy does not get used up within a short period, a situation which favours energy storage as fat within the body, thereby leading to the development of obesity.

Obesity is a disease in itself. You are obese if your body mass index is greater than or equal to 30. Also, you are centrally obese if your abdominal girth is over 40 inches as a man and over 35 inches as a woman. Central obesity is the same as having a pot belly.

Obesity predisposes to type two diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, kidney disease, infertility, cancers, amongst others. This, however, does not mean that non-obese people are not at risk of the above-listed diseases. They are, just that the bigger you are, the higher your risk due to body fatness.

So you see, eating food beyond portions that are acceptable can lead to bad diseases. This happens regardless of the type of food. When your food is bad, I mean unhealthy, and you still don’t control portions, the consequences are more and they happen faster.

Steps have to be taken to enable everyone to keep to healthy meal portions. A visit to your dietician is recommended. After the necessary assessments, you get to be advised on the right meal portions.

On your own, start reducing your food portions by observing the under-listed healthy habits:
1. Eat fruits in moderation. Just one small fruit at a time, instead of feasting on them. Those who eat fruits as main meals, say breakfast, lunch or supper tend to eat so much before they feel satisfied. This is the bad side; all that fruit will give the consumer so much fruit sugar. The excess of it gets stored as fat. Just begin to reduce your fruit portions and eat them as meal compliments, not as main meals.
2. If you are already used to eating two balls of kenkey for example, it will help a great deal if you bring it down to one and a half, then eventually to just one. Instead of letting your starchy food like rice cover the whole surface area of your plate, let it cover just a portion of the plate. Leave enough space on the same plate for stews, salads and your protein. It has to be a deliberate decision.
3. Are you a fan of communal eating? Well, not so much of joining the whole community to eat, but what eating with others does is that some people are encouraged by the company that they have to over-eat. If you are like that, then leave that company, it is now a bad company. Start eating alone and you will be able to stay with the small portions that will save your dear life.
4. If you are one of the people who believe that you need very large portions of meals because your work is not a sedentary kind, it is time for you to bid that belief a goodbye because people like you also suffer from the bad diseases.
5. Check the size of your plates and bowls. If they are large, downsize. You will be amazed how choosing smaller ones will help you control your food portions. Full-looking small plates and bowls even give you a feeling that the meals are a lot; whereas in actual fact, they are smaller. That is a good trick.

Read more at www.letsabooks.com
The writer is a DIETICIAN at the Trust Hospital and AUTHOR of the following books:
1. Be your own dietician – Vol. 1
2. Eating to prevent and manage lifestyle diseases.
3. LIVE LONG by eating well – Vol. 1
Contact 0244090262 for copies. Also, you can download my books from the Google Play Store.