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Embrace healthy eating habits with portion control for weight loss

Here are a few habits that can help you with portion control when serving and plating your meals.

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By Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife

The mix of the ever changing temperature from heat to the rainy season is in full swing, and as we celebrate Nutrition Month in the Philippines, it’s essential to take a moment to reflect on our eating habits. While we may not experience the cold winters that some countries do, we can still face challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Filipinos tend to indulge in flavorful dishes and savory meals during this season that may lead to potential weight gain. However, fear not! With an abundance of delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables available locally, this presents a perfect opportunity to embrace healthier eating habits. Remember, portion control is just as vital as the nutritious foods we include on our plates!

If you’re looking to shed weight, portion control is a great method to help you monitor how much you’re eating by keeping your calories in check. Remember, a portion is the amount of food you put on your plate, while a serving is an exact amount of food. The idea is to understand what your body needs and just eat to that level.  Oftentimes, we overeat because we feel we must finish all that’s on our plate or restaurants have pre-determined giant portions, which leads to weight gain.

The way we serve and plate our food greatly influences how much we eat. If you eat a healthy diet, you might think that it would be hard to overeat.  But plenty of people who fill their plates with healthy foods actually struggle with their weight because they simply eat way too much.

In fact, according to a meta-analysis published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, the use of portion-controlled plates among study subjects resulted in significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference.

8 Practical Tips to Help You Control Your Portions

The idea that “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” really applies here.  When you’re loading up your plate, you’re relying on what you see to determine your portion, which is often a lot more than what you can – or should – eat.

And, as aforementioned, there’s a difference between a “serving” and a “portion”.  Serving sizes are what you see on the nutrition facts panel of food packages – but that may or may not reflect the amount that you actually eat.   We are programmed to finish whatever is put in front of us, whether it’s a lot or a little. That’s your “portion.” And, oftentimes, the only way you know that you’re finished eating is when the empty plate tells you, “I’m done.”

Here are a few habits that can help you with portion control when serving and plating your meals:

1. Choose smaller serving containers.

From soup to nuts, any dish served from a large container could encourage you to eat more of it. According to the University of Cambridge, people consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages, or tableware than smaller-sized versions. So, to manage your portions, try serving from a smaller bowl or saucepan.

2. Opt for smaller utensils.
You’ll serve yourself more if you use a large serving spoon than you will from a smaller one, so be aware of how much you’re putting on your plate. “Just a couple of scoops” of anything can add up really fast when the scoop is the size of a shovel.

3. Consider the size of your plates.

When you use a smaller plate, it looks as if it holds more food – which means your eyes are telling you that this plate of food will be more filling.  So, if you’re trying to cut calories by cutting portion sizes, trim the size of your plate, too.

4. Consider the height and width of your drinking glasses.

If you’re trying to curb your intake of liquid calories, consider the size and shape of the glass you use. Tall skinny glasses appear to hold much more than short, wide ones – which fools your eyes into thinking that your stomach will be getting more.

5. Plate up in the kitchen instead of at the table.

Serving food family style makes it easy for everyone to help themselves, which is why it’s not such a good idea if you’re trying to control portions. With serving dishes on the table, it’s too easy to have “just another spoonful.” Instead, portion out your meal in the kitchen. The only serving dishes you should keep on the table are those holding low-calorie veggies and salads.

6. Consider the plate color.

I’m not suggesting that you go out and buy new plates, but keep in mind that the color of your plate can affect your ability to visualize how much you’re eating. When there’s a large contrast between the color of the food and the color of the plate – picture a dark square of chocolate cake on a bright white plate – it’s easier to visualize the portion, which makes it easier to control how much you are eating.

7. Eat lower-calorie foods first.

When you’re really hungry and you’re serving yourself a plate of food, you’re likely to serve yourself more of the highest-calorie foods that are available, and you’re also likely to dig into them first once you sit down to eat, meaning you’re going fill up on those high-calorie foods first!

If this sounds like you, try digging into your salad or veggies first – that way, you’ll start to fill up with the lowest-calorie items first, which leaves less room for the heavier stuff.

8. Use your plate as a guide.

Your plate could also serve as a guide on how to divide up the components of your meal. The recommendations below are rough estimates since each person has unique dietary needs, but they can be a useful guide – especially when you’re eating in a restaurant.

  • Vegetables or salad: about ½ of your plate
  • Protein: about ¼ of your plate
  • Complex Carbs (such as whole grains and starchy vegetables): about ¼ of your plate

When dining out, try to watch out for these factors and see how they can influence your eating habits.

Believing that everyone's perspective is important, Zest Magazine has opted to provide an avenue for these perspectives to be known. care to hear the publication's contributing writers; or better yet, do some contributing yourself by contacting info@zestmag.com.

NewsMakers

USANA Philippines celebrates 15-year anniversary

Beyond awards, the community it empowers is the true measure of success. From employees to Associates, life-changing opportunities allow them to grow both personally and professionally.

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USANA Philippines recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary in it its ongoing mission to maintain wellness. Company executives, ambassadors, Associates, and product users all attended this grand celebration — a testament to the unwavering commitment to reach one million families worldwide.  

Since its launch in 2009, USANA Philippines has received numerous accolades: Named among the best companies to work for in the country by the HR Asia Awards; Winning the prestigious Linchpin Award from the Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA); Recognized by Euromonitor as the Number 1 Vitamins and Dietary Supplements Brand in the Philippines for five consecutive years. 

But beyond awards, the community it empowers is the true measure of success. From employees to Associates, life-changing opportunities allow them to grow both personally and professionally.

When Analan Omambing, assistant customer service manager, joined USANA she was shy and introverted, but the support she’s received has pushed her to step up as a team leader.  “The career growth and personal development I gained here have transformed my personality significantly,” she says.  

USANA Philippines also creates ways to form meaningful relationships.  

“Direct selling, especially USANA, is all about relationships,” says Aurora Gaston, vice president for sales development.   

As the first employee hired by USANA Philippines, Loudelle Cinco, USANA’s regional controller in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia has experienced it all.  

“One of the things I treasure is the friendship, having a family in USANA. This position has paved the way to building great and lasting relationships.”  

Over the past 15 years, USANA has seen a shift in their Associate’s perspectives — from a focus on individual success to embracing a more collaborative and inclusive view of the community.  

“This comprehensive development approach underscores USANA’s commitment to not only enhance the lives of our Associates but also empower them to make a meaningful difference in the world” shared Cherry Dionisio-Ampig, general manager for USANA Philippines.  

USANA consistently strives to make an impact by being responsive to shifts in consumer behavior. Changes made over the years include strengthening the brand through collaboration, embracing the evolution of social media, and ensuring Associates can effortlessly introduce USANA’s products to the world. And as USANA Philippines celebrates this milestone, its vigor to sustain wins and touch more lives grows even stronger.  

“We are dedicated to ongoing research and innovation to develop products that not only meet — but exceed — the expectations of families worldwide. By focusing on efficacy and quality, we aim to be the trusted partner in every family’s journey towards maintaining wellness” Cherry says.   

The 15-Year “Ignite the Vibe” celebration was held at the Marriot Hotel Grand Ballroom. It’s the final touch to the anniversary festivities that kicked off with a Thanksgiving Day event in January.

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Independence Day at Ortigas Malls celebrates Filipino heroes, culture, music

On June 12, GH Mall, Tiendesitas, and Estancia will kick off their Independence Day celebrations in exciting ways, and shoppers shouldn’t miss them.

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Independence Day (Araw ng Kalayaan) is a celebration of historical and modern heroes who have fought for Filipinos’ freedom. As we welcome the annual holiday, Ortigas Malls has prepared a series of events and activities that highlight our history and colorful culture.

On June 12, GH Mall, Tiendesitas, and Estancia will kick off their Independence Day celebrations in exciting ways, and shoppers shouldn’t miss them:

Greenhills

Starting at 10am, GH Mall will hold a Pagtaas ng Watawat (flag-raising ceremony) at the East Wing Atrium of GH Mall. A Marching Band will also energize shoppers at 12pm.

From 3pm to 6pm, there will be an entertaining and educational Likhang Sining at Kalayaan presentation by the Tanghalang Tula, Kundiman at Katutubong Sayaw. This wonderful display of talent will highlight our beloved Filipino culture through different facets of art.

Shoppers can also marvel at the extraordinary Philippine flag display at GH Mall made out of 1,400 origami flowers courtesy of Origami Philippines. The origami flowers symbolize the enduring bonds and deep-rooted friendships that define Filipino culture. Feel free to take photos in front of the display and share it on social media!

Tiendesitas

Known for being a home of local goods and handicrafts, Tiendesitas is celebrating Independence Day with a whole day of musical performances. Start the day off with a heart-thumping Marching Band performance at Level 1, Food Village from 10am to 11:30am. Musika’t Kalayaan at Level 2, Food Village will delight shoppers with Filipino tunes from 3pm to 9pm.

Estancia

Estancia Mall will also showcase local music for its Independence Day celebration. From 10am to 7pm, shoppers can sing and dance to their favorite P-pop songs at the P-Pop Music Fest: Hiraya at 2/F East Wing. They can also catch the Independence Day Marching Band performance on the ground floor of the East Wing from 11am to 12pm. 

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Red Bull Dance Your Style returns

The winners of each qualifier will advance to the National Finals, happening on September7. The winning finalist will proudly represent the Philippines in the upcoming Red Bull Dance Your Style World Finals in India, scheduled for November 9, 2024.

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Red Bull Dance Your Style, the  global 1-on-1 street dance competition renowned for its emphasis on freestyle and improvisational skills among dancers, is returning to the Philippines for its third consecutive year.

Following its highly successful previous editions, Red Bull Dance Your Style is back to ignite the streets of the Philippines with even more explosive battles, spotlighting the incredible talents of the country’s top dancers. Each round of the competition will challenge dancers to show off their talent and creativity as they battle it out to a random selection of songs, ranging from iconic classics to contemporary dance hits.

What sets this electrifying dance competition apart is its unique battle format, where the audience holds the power to crown the victor. This distinct setup fuels the atmosphere, empowering dancers to unleash their full potential and captivate the audience with every move.

Red Bull Dance Your Style Year 3: Spreading the Beat Across the Nation

Red Bull Dance Your Style’s much-awaited comeback is taking the battle beyond the streets of Manila to every corner of the archipelago. The competition is open to Philippine residents, aged 18 years and above, who exhibit exceptional skill, dedication, and passion for street dancing. The quest to find the next wave of top Philippine dance talents will reach four major cities: Baguio, Manila, Davao, and Cebu, culminating in the qualifiers in Davao (June 29), Cebu (July 13), and Manila (July 27).

“We are so excited to have the third edition of Red Bull Dance Your Style in the Philippines,” said Philippine All-Stars legend Lema Diaz, who is returning as this year’s dance consultant. “It’s definitely gonna be bigger and better this year!”

Diaz shared that Red Bull Dance Your Style has expanded its search for the top Filipino dance talents for its third year in the Philippines. “This year, we have included North Luzon (Baguio) and Mindanao (Davao) in the mix for our search for the dancer who has charisma, skills, and passion,” explained Diaz. “Expect a tougher competition this year.”

She added, “Since its first edition, Red Bull Dance Your Style has brought the dance community closer and we have grown a lot stronger. It has been an avenue to come together and collaborate, learn from each other, and inspire one another. Every year is a chance for us to keep that momentum and witness greatness from our local dance community.”

Diaz offered her expert advice to this year’s aspiring dancers saying, “It’s important to show your dance, be you. Be confident and embrace your strength. Be prepared to perform for the crowd, they will be rooting for you. Don’t forget to have a lot of fun!”

The winners of each qualifier will advance to the National Finals, happening on September7. The winning finalist will proudly represent the Philippines in the upcoming Red Bull Dance Your Style World Finals in India, scheduled for November 9, 2024.

Follow the Red Bull Dance Your Style journey and stay tuned for more details about the upcoming auditions. Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of Red Bull Dance Your Style Philippines. See you on the streets!

For more information and updates regarding this year’s season of Red Bull Dance Your Style, visit the official Red Bull website and the following social media pages (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tiktok )

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