Portion control

Pea parmesan and artichoke crostini HERO

What is the right portion size for you? You may struggle with the notion that you should only eat a certain ‘size’ of meal. Instead, try listen to your body and know when you’ve had enough. A large nutritious, balanced meal will do you more good than a small portion of unhealthy food.  By having lots or fruit, veg and wholegrains you can also increase the amount of food without increasing the Calories.

It’s also really important to take into consideration what you eat over a whole day, not just one meal…and how much you move. If you’re having a busy day, running around, you can get really hungry and eat a larger portion of food than usual. But as long as your intake and output are matched, then you’re in good shape. Obviously, if you are having a calmer day, maybe sitting at your desk, your output is lower so your intake needs to be lower. Its not rocket science and you don’t have to be an expert to work it out – but you do need to get in-tune with your body and work out if you are eating because you’re hungry of for some other reason. Good luck, you can do it.

'Me size meals' are important for kids too – it’s better if they come back for seconds if they are still hungry!

How about this great idea? Individual mini Victoria sponges – perfect to take to work when you know you’re going to fancy something sweet and filling to have with your cup of tea, but don’t want to over do it! By making these individual mini sponges, you can easily limit the quantity you eat. Healthy eating for life isn’t always about counting the calories, it’s about ensuring you have a balanced diet that is properly sustainable for you throughout your life. If you have a birthday to celebrate or a group of friends getting together, making small special cakes is fun and shows you care. Just don’t do it everyday!

Or for something savoury, make up a batch of Pea, Parmesan and Artichoke Dip and have it with crackers instead of bread for a lighter alternative.

When you make a dish like Beef and Guinness Casserole, and you don’t eat the full amount, portion up into smaller suitable containers and pop in the freezer for another day. All casseroles also turn into brilliant pies – so after defrosting thoroughly, you can pour your portions into small ramekins, add mashed or sliced potato on top and heat through thoroughly until piping hot.

Try to keep red meat to once or twice a week and always cut off any visible fat. Use olive oil which works to give you a great health benefit when cooked with the onions and tinned tomatoes. This dish works wonderfully when padded out with extra vegetables, I like to add French beans and green peppers. Follow the recipe and add these extra items along with the red pepper and orange rind.

Sally Bee book Article by Sally Bee - home cook and author of ‘Have your cake and eat it too’.

Click here to find out more about the book >

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