Nutritionists launch a guide to portion sizes to combat overeating

Nutritionists have launched a new guide to addressing large portions in a clampdown on obesity.

The guide uses hands, fingers and thumbs as images to show how many people should eat, removing the inconvenience of using the stairs.

While health officials continue to warn against the rise in obesity data, people remain unaware of how many calories they actually consume.

Most do not think about our portions, said the experts who created the guide, and in doing so could alleviate the pressure on the NHS.

The guide, created by the British Nutrition Foundation, measures the amount of starchy carbohydrates, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and oils within the calories recommended by the government for men (2,500) and women (2,000).

The British Nutrition Foundation's guide suggests using your finger and thumb to measure a 1-pound-sized bundle for spaghetti

The guide also suggests that a baked potato should have the size of the punch

Using our hands to measure food would lead us to "eat less", as well as "eat differently", said the guide Finding Your Balance.

The single suggested portion of grilled chicken breast or a cooked salmon filet or a cooked steak is "about half the size of the hand".

The cheese should be no more than about two inches in size together & # 39; and raw pasta 'two handfuls'.

The suggestions are in line with the government's Eatwell guide, which states that our diet should consist of one third of fruit and vegetables, one third of starchy carbohydrates and the remainder divided between milk and protein.

This would mean that every day, we are able to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, three or four starchy carbohydrates like bread, rice or pasta (which should be whole) and two to three servings of protein and dairy products. -caseari.

The BNF examined data from the national feeding and nutrition survey and found numerous variations in portion sizes.

Most of us make a rough estimate with pasta – but this could accumulate almost twice as many calories as needed.

According to BNF, the most commonly consumed size was 230 g (324 calories) and 10% of people consumed 350 g (500 calories), before adding sauces and other foods.

The guide suggests using your finger and thumb to measure a pocket-sized bunch of a £ 1 coin for spaghetti.

If you have bigger hands, you will generally get larger portions, the guide said. If you're high or very active & # 39; you may need to add a little more, and if you're trying to lose weight, you'd remove a little.

The cheese should be no more than "two inches in size," says the guide

Half the size of a hand is roughly the correct amount of chicken, says the guide. A portion of nuts and seeds should be a handful

Many of the foods listed are already divided into portions, such as a can of tuna or a bagel or suggest using package guidelines.

Oils and spreads should also be used in "small quantities". The use of spoon measurements bares how many calories contain foods like oils.

Olive oil or vegetable oil, which is easy to throw on food during cooking, is 99 calories per spoon, for example.

Beverages are also included, which many people do not know how to contribute to the daily calories.

They can be part of different food groups, for example, fruit and vegetable juices, milk in dairy products and alternatives.


Breakfast and light meals Weight measurement
Muesli 50g 3 handfuls
Porridge (dry weight) 45g 1 1/2 handfuls
Mashed potato 180g 4 tablespoons
Cooked new potatoes 175g 6 small potatoes
2 slices of medium-sized whole wheat bread 80g Ready portioned
Main meals
Pasta (dried) 75g 2 handfuls
Rice (dried) 65g 2 handfuls
Couscous (dried) 90g 2 handfuls
Potato chips 165g 2 handfuls
bagel 85g Ready portioned
Popcorn 20g 3 handfuls
2 oat cakes 24g Ready portioned

Source: British Nutrition foundation


Breakfast and light meals Weight measurement
Bean stew 200g Half standard can
Raw white fish fillet 140-195g 1/2 to 1 hand
Raw chicken breast 160g 1/2 a hand
Bacon 75g 2 slices
Main meals
Raw salmon fillet 120-165g 1/2 a hand
Raw lean beef steak 175g 1/2 a hand
minced lamb meat 100 grams Use the package size as a guide
Breaded chicken goujons 75g 3, ready portioned
shrimp 80g 4 tablespoons
Hummous reduced fat 55g 2 tablespoons
Peanut butter 20g 1 tablespoon

Source: British Nutrition Foundation


Little fat Portion measurement
Milk on cereals 125ml Half glass
White or thin yogurt 120g 4 tablespoons
Soft cheese 30g 3 tablespoons
Milk flakes 100 grams 3 tablespoons
Unsweetened vegetable milk on cereals 125ml Half glass
Seasoned cheese 30g Two inches
Stilton type cheese 30g Two inches
Soft fatty cheese 30g 3 teaspoons

Source: British Nutrition Foundation


Oil calories measurement
Olive / vegetables 27 1 Teaspoon
Olive / vegetables 99 1 tablespoon
Standard spread on 1 slice of bread 31 Thin diffusion
Low fat on a slice of bread 18 Thin diffusion
Dressing for salad with oil 82 1 tablespoon

Source: British Nutrition Foundation

A glass shot (150 ml) of fruit juice would contribute to your five days and be within a reasonable portion.

For each food group, it also offers smaller portions for snacks and light meals.

For example, in the starchy carbohydrate group, a baked potato, about 213 calories and the size of the first, would be for a main meal. Considering that simple popcorn, 94 calories and three handfuls, would be a suitable snack.

Other snacks include a handful (up to 137 calories) of nuts and unsalted seeds and two tablespoons of low-fat hummus (103 calories).

An example of a daily diet is elaborated by the BNF, with lunch consisting of a baked potato with tuna mayonnaise, a bowl of fruit salad and two mandarins.

The suggestions of the BNF are in line with the government's Eatwell guide, which states that our diet should consist of one third of fruit and vegetables, one third of starchy carbohydrates and the remainder divided between milk and protein. One day's food is prepared as an example

Official figures have suggested that the British are underestimating their 50% calorie intake.

Men typically have more than 1,000 calories a day than they represent, while women consume about 800 more than they estimate.

Experts from the National Statistics Bureau have suggested that people do not like "being taken for idiots" and so they end up lying to themselves about how much they actually eat.

Addressing this could help reduce obesity, which is currently estimated to affect about 25 percent of adults and about 20 percent of children between 10 and 11 years.

The NHS has become more under pressure – in a year, there has been an 18 percent increase in hospital admissions either for treatment of obesity or for conditions caused or complicated by obesity , as demonstrated by April 2018.


Plans proposed to limit the number of calories in pizzas, cakes and ready meals were revealed last year as part of drastic government actions to try to reduce obesity.

In April, a tax on added sugar in beverages entered into force, requiring companies to transfer more money from drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml of liquid.

As a result, many drinks changed their recipes to avoid paying taxes and raising prices. Sugary drinks are the main single source of sugar for children and adolescents.

The government is also considering making it mandatory for all restaurants and fast food restaurants to display the number of calories in each meal in their menu.

Some grocery stores already do this, but there may be unexpected amounts of calories in popular dishes, and the government is consulting plans before a decision is made in the spring.

In March of this year, Public Health England warned the British to quash the number of calories they are eating, advising people to consume no more than 1,600 a day.

The guard dog says that adults should not eat more than 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner – this would allow some snacks, experts say.

Examples of 600 calorie meals include a tuna pasta salad and a small cereal bar, a chicken salad sandwich and a packet of chips or a half pepper pizza with a quarter of a baguette of garlic and a banana.

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