The Importance Of Portion Control

In my years as a private chef I have noticed that clients that have cooking services offered at home tend to have every meal coursed, which can add up to a substantial amount of food if not portioned correctly.

Due to the fact that eating in abundance can increase weight gain, it is your job as a private chef to make sure your clients are not only eating healthy and on schedule, but are also eating appropriately portioned food according to their size.

Portion control works according to body weight and height.

Now, let’s discuss in a bit more detail what and how much you should eat during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I recommend that you follow the same rule for each meal: Imagine dividing your meal into three components: Grains (e.g., rice, pasta, cereal, bread), fruits and vegetables, and protein (e.g., lean meat, dairy products, nuts).

Aim for 40 percent grain, 40 percent fruits and vegetables, and 20 percent protein.

That’s 40/40/20. This approach provides the balanced, healthy nutrition that is essential for optimal functioning of the body; it also provides you with sustained energy. Do not skimp on one of the food groups; if you do, you will compromise the sustained energy this approach promises.

One simple but effective way to measure how much you should eat is to use your hands. Regardless of whether you are male or female, each individual’s hand are proportional to their body size. Aim to eat no more than five handfuls of food at each of your three meals: two handfuls of grain, two handfuls of fruits and vegetables, and one handful of protein. Cup one hand and imagine how much food you can hold in it (not a heaping cupful but a level one). That amount is one handful. For meat, use the palm of your hand as a gauge for the size and thickness that is appropriate (don’t include the fingers and thumb). It’s that simple! If you are a very active person, you should eat more often (including snacks) rather than increase the amount of food at mealtime.

For example, your breakfast could consist of two handfuls of cereal, one handful of fruit (such as chopped banana), a small glass of juice (i.e., another handful of fruit), and one handful of milk (for the cereal). Try applying this rule to a lunch or dinner meal for yourself. Now what happens to those “want foods,” (e.g., desserts, fries, alcohol) and the four-to-one ratio of need versus want foods? Well, to improve your ratio, all you have to do is replace one handful of grain with one handful of want food. For example, if you want to include a glass of wine with dinner, reduce your grains by eliminating bread or rolls with that meal. As long as you adhere to this ratio, you will still get one handful of grain, and the want food will provide energy too. This approach will help you meet your goal of sustaining high energy and enjoying foods you want. However, I recommend no more than two alcohol substitutions per day (some may disagree with that one, but you only live once so enjoy your drink!)

A note about supplements: Many folks spend a lot of time trying to figure out whether to add nutritional supplements to their diets. I believe that a healthy, balanced diet is by far the most important factor in providing energy and if you follow my guidelines for proportions of the different food groups you will absolutely satisfy your nutritional needs. At most, I would suggest that you consider a daily multivitamin if you are not able to consistently adhere to these guidelines. Beyond that, I urge you to consult your personal physician or a certified nutritionist for special needs or circumstances such as bulking and body building

With that in mind, always try and stay in shape and exercise frequently.

Properly portioned food is just half the battle.

About Shlomi Biton

After Graduating from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Chef Shlomi Biton took his training to Alain Ducasse's three Michelin Star Restaurant, Spoon. Where he learned the ins and outs of operating within a high-end environment, which eventually led him to a position for a high profile executive producer. With his entrance into the private sector, he was able to travel the world with various clients while mastering his skill. After over 10 years working with A-listers and high profile individuals he decided to open Private Chefs Club (PPC), a nationwide domestic placement agency that provide service like no other. PCC is a specialized, hands-on agency that provides guidance and support to our clients and chefs throughout the entire duration of the placement. PCC is committed to providing impeccable service along with their highly trained staff for yachts, estates and retreats.

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