4. Eating Smaller Portions
In Japanese culture, the phrase “ichiju-sansai” or “one soup, three sides” is applied at meal times. So a typical Japanese meal usually consists of a staple food like rice or noodles. It is paired with a main dish such as fish, chicken, pork or beef, with side dishes like pickled vegetables and miso soup. This may sound like a large amount of food, but the portions are all smaller-sized and based on seasonal ingredients. Japanese etiquette dictates that different flavors must not touch each other on the same plate. Therefore, every serving is presented on smaller serving plates. As such, the Japanese people generally do not heap their food onto the same plate like we do in Western culture, and this may contribute to their health and wellbeing. Portion size is an important factor in maintaining weight and ensuring you receive all the correct nutrition. With fast food and restaurants serving sizes from small through to extra-large, it’s easy to get confused about how much you should be eating.
Portion sizes vary depending on the type of food it is, and the individual eating it. For example, a child will need to eat smaller portions than an adult. By taking note of each portion size, you can control your eating much easier. For a standard meal of meat and vegetables, dictate your portion sizes by looking at your hand. The protein portion (meat, beans or nuts) should be the size of your palm. For vegetables, one fist-sized portion should be adequate and for salads, two fist-sized. Before you eat, take a moment to notice how hungry you really are. Often, we eat much more than what we really feel like, so it’s best to adopt a mindful approach to eating. When you sit down for a meal, do so without distractions like TV. Eat slowly and savor every bite, putting your cutlery down every few mouthfuls to slow your pace even further. This enables you to eat slower and pay more attention to what your body is telling you.