With thanksgiving only one week away, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. So first, take a deep breath -- inhale, exhale. Now, remember that you have plenty of resources at your disposal, not only on my site but also available from other experts.
This thanksgiving is bound to be a little bit different due to COVID-19 being an uninvited but ever present guest. Whether you are spending it with family, friends, or having a small household feast, paying attention to serving sizes can ensure that there isn’t excess food available for binge eating later on.
Just to clarify -- I think leftovers are great! However, if you end up eating thanksgiving sweets into the first or second week of December, it might be time to rethink your portion planning strategy . Eating without exceeding a healthy balance is totally possible, and believe it or not you can enjoy a thanksgiving dinner without feeling like your expandable waistline is going to explode due to bloating by way of turkey day.
Is estimating portion sizes really that important?
A study published this month reported the following:
“According to the findings of validation and comparison studies, food image–based [portion size estimation elements] were more accurate than food models and household utensils.” (1)
In other words, images of food portions helped most effectively in demonstrating proper portion sizes when compared to other methods. I’m considered knowledgeable in nutrition, however I can promise you I don’t walk around knowing every approximate portion size off the top of my head. I will say that with practice it becomes easier and more natural to know what serving size is a healthy choice. I often have an accessible conversion chart or reference on me -- not because I always need it, but because having a reference close by makes me more efficient in the kitchen. Instead of estimating on my own, visual aids can help provide a reference point and allow me to cook recipes that don’t under- or overestimate my needs.
Get your FREE helper handout
For the upcoming holiday season, I’ve got you covered! Download this free printout and stick it to your fridge or wherever else seems helpful when it comes to preparing the proper portions, from Thanksgiving feasts through New Year’s Eve.
Get your FREE printout! Click here to download 😍👇✨
Birdem Amoutzopoulos, Polly Page, Caireen Roberts, Mark Roe, Janet Cade, Toni Steer, Ruby Baker, Tabitha Hawes, Catherine Galloway, Dove Yu, Eva Almiron-Roig, Portion size estimation in dietary assessment: a systematic review of existing tools, their strengths and limitations, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 78, Issue 11, November 2020, Pages 885–900, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuz107