Week 3: Prioritize Portions!

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Mar 14, 2016

By: Amanda Lapidus, RD, BSc

Today we enter week three of Nutrition Month and the theme of this week is to Prioritize Portions. In my work as a private practice dietitian many of my clients are familiar with what portion sizes are but struggle with how to feel satisfied once they’ve completed those portion sizes.

Portion control is far more complicated than just knowing how much we are supposed to eat, it depends a great deal on satiation and satiety. According to Merriam-Webster satiety is to fully satisfy a need or desire (1). Satiation is when the desire is met and this happens you have started eating. If we are not satiated, we will continue to eat until we reach that point. That leads me to question, what helps satisfy this need or desire, so that we can prioritize our portions and avoid eating too much?

After a lot of research and distilling it all down here are some important things to consider when looking to manage your portions.


Eat your protein but don’t go overboard
Tip: At each meal try to fill about 1/3rd of your plate with a protein-rich item like meat/poultry, fish/seafood or eggs.

Fiber bulks up your food without bulking up your calories meaning you get more food without adding more calories.
Tip: Increase you fiber intake slowly to avoid gas, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea and make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.
Whole Fruit and Vegetables
Legumes: Lentils and beans
Nuts and Seeds
Whole grains

Tip: Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables at meal time, Ex. Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, rapini, gai lan or mixed peppers

Tip: Add beans or lentils to your soups, stews and casseroles as a source of fibre and protein and a break from animal protein

Tip: Roast chickpeas or steam edamame as an easy, high fibre snack

Tip: Add a tablespoons of slivered almonds, sesame seeds or pine nuts to your salad or yogurt Tip: Grab a handful of raw unsalted almonds as a snack

How we view our food before we even take our first bite has an important affect on its satiating power. Believe it or not a study published this year in the Journal of Consumer Marketing has shown that all of those #foodgrams are on to something.

The mere act of taking photos of your food and taking the time to make it look beautiful actually makes it taste better and affects our appetite.  Have you ever been browsing Instagram, Pinterest or Food52 only to find your mouth watering?

Tip: Take the time to set your table and plate your food.
Tip: Think about the combinations of foods your making. Are you using different colours? Varied textures? Vibrant colours?

The texture of the food plays a role in in our appetite by way of expectations and time commitment. The amount of time required to chew a meal slows the consumption rate, enhances overall sensory experience and increases satiety.

Tip: Consider a variety of textures including crunchy vegetables, soft meats and nutty grains. Soups and stews are great because you have a variety of textures all in one bowl!

Last night Corey and I were discussing the upcoming week and Corey mentioned how Edie had been eating so much better now that she was staying up later and eating with both her and Ross. It has been shown time and time again that family dinners build relationships and can help kids do perform better in school.   Nutritionally, children learn to eat by way of example. Corey has noticed that Edie is eating a lot more protein now that they’re eating together. Have you ever noticed that you’re far more willing to try new things when you’re with others? In terms of portions you are a lot less likely to binge or eat in excess when surrounded by others. If you’re in the mood for a solo meal at home turn off the tube and put the phone down. Focusing on the taste, smell and texture of your meal improves meal satisfaction and portion control.


Include a protein (about 1/3rd of your plate) at each meal

Fill up on fibre

Eat your food don’t drink it

Consume whole fruits and vegetables

Fill ½ your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens

Take the time to make your meals look as great as they taste

Try eating with others

Use all your senses at meal time!

Please note that if you find that any of the information provided above is incorrect or insufficient please let me know. I would not only be happy to make changes but be grateful for any updates you can provide me with.

Amanda Lapidus is an experienced, innovative and supportive dietitian, mother and wife, living and working in Toronto.   She is one of the few dietitians who offers personalized and family focused care in the comforts of your own home.  Amanda completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition at The University of Western Ontario and her postgraduate internship in clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Hospital.   She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario, Dietitians of Canada and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Amanda draws from a diverse career in the field of nutrition with a wide range of physical and mental health knowledge and a special interest in integrative and functional medicine. Amanda works using real foods and believes in making nutrition in your home simple, satisfying and sustainable. For further information, please visit www.simplynutrition.ca or to book a session, contact Amanda at: Amanda@simplynutrition.ca, 416-805-2584


Week Two Recap: Quality Counts!

Week One Recap: Meal Plan Your Way to Success!

Stocking-Up On Nutrition Month Essentials!

Following One Family’s Journey to Healthier Eating

5 Ways to Teach Kids About Nutrition

Reading Nutrition Labels

Show Your Fruits and Vegetables Some Love this Valentine’s Day




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