To celebrate National Nutrition Month, seniors and older adults should make sure to eat proper portion sizes. Larger portions mean more calories and encourage seniors to eat more than they otherwise would. Senior adults that aren’t educated on portion control often underestimate how much food they are consuming, and can experience unhealthy weight gain as a result. In order to keep portions in check, try some of the following tactics that can contribute to their long-term care.
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water makes it easier to feel full and can help older adults cut back on calories without feeling hungry. Seniors should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Seniors have likely been taught to clean their plates in order to avoid food waste, and larger plates can lead to overeating. Smaller plates can help give the appearance of a larger portion size and prevents adding too many calories to the plate.
Ensure that most of your plate consists of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, and other fiber-filled foods. This means there will be less of a chance of overeating on sweets, unhealthy fats, and snack foods that have little to no nutrition value.
Measuring cups and food scales can help seniors stick to the correct portion size with their meals. After measuring food for a while, seniors will be more able to eyeball proper portions later.
Seniors who skip regular meals are more likely to become hungry and eat portions that are too large. This is why sticking to a regular meal schedule consisting of nutrition-filled meals, as well as having 2-3 healthy snacks throughout the day, is ideal. Whenever possible, older adults should refrain from going more than five hours without eating.
Restaurants are known for their service of over-sized portions. Those who dine out regularly should try to split meals with family and friends or ask for half of their meals to be packed up in a doggy bag right away. Portion control can encourage a senior’s body to become fuller after eating less food, helping them meet their weight loss goals and maintain a healthy weight.