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Portion Control Tips for Seniors

Aged Care

Updated 25-01-2024

Portion Control Tips for Seniors

Maintaining a proper diet is crucial for the elderly, as our metabolism slows and our body composition changes with age. Portion control is a vital aspect of diet management, helping seniors avoid weight gain and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It also ensures that seniors get the right amount of nutrients to support their overall health and wellbeing. Here are tailored portion control tips designed to assist seniors in managing their portions effectively.

Understanding Serving Sizes

Read Nutritional Labels

Nutritional labels provide information on the recommended serving sizes. Though these sizes are general guidelines, they can be a good starting point for understanding how much of different types of food you should be consuming.

Use Smaller Dinnerware

Opt for smaller plates, bowls, and cups to make portions appear larger. This psychological trick can lead to eating less without feeling deprived.

Familiarise with Visual Cues

Learn visual cues to estimate serving sizes. For example, a serving size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of fruit should be about the size of a tennis ball.

Strategic Eating Habits

Start with Vegetables

Fill half your plate with vegetables before you add any other foods. This helps increase the intake of essential vitamins and fibres, while naturally controlling calorie intake.

Chew Slowly

Chewing slowly not only aids digestion but also helps in recognizing fullness signals from your body, preventing overeating.

Practice Mindful Eating

Be present during mealtime, without the distraction of TV or reading material. This mindfulness helps you enjoy your meal fully and recognise when you are satiated.

Planning and Preparing Meals

Pre-Portion Snacks

Snack directly from a large packet can lead to overeating. Instead, measure out snacks into small containers or bags to avoid unintentional excessive intake.

Plate Your Meals

Instead of eating family-style with serving dishes at the table, plate up your meals in the kitchen. This can reduce the temptation of second helpings.

Prepare Balanced Meals

A balanced meal includes all necessary food groups. Ensure that your meals comprise appropriate portions of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy.

Adopting Lifestyle Changes

Stay Hydrated

Seniors sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. Drink water throughout the day and especially before meals to help control appetite.

Regular Physical Activity

Combine portion control with regular physical activity. Even light exercises such as walking can help increase metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.

Eat at Regular Intervals

Maintaining a routine can prevent overeating and snacking out of boredom. Try to have meals at similar times each day.

Professional Guidance

Consult a Dietician

If you find portion control challenging, consult with a dietician. They can create a tailored eating plan that meets your individual needs and health goals.

Seeking Support

For those in assisted living or with caregivers, arrange for support in meal preparation and portioning to help maintain a consistent routine.

Conclusion

For seniors, portion control is more than just a fad—it is an essential strategy for promoting longevity and good health. By making clever lifestyle tweaks and remaining mindful of eating habits, seniors can easily align portion sizes with their body's needs. With these tips, managing portion sizes is achievable and can be seamlessly incorporated into daily life, resulting in positive health outcomes.

About the Author

Olivia is a seasoned professional with an extensive career spanning the Aged Care sector, bringing decades of experience to her role. Her comprehensive understanding of Aged Care services and practices is a testament to her dedication. Olivia’s gratitude extends to those who have generously shared their knowledge and insights with her over the years, contributing to her wealth of expertise.

Olivia’s articles reflect her commitment to practical and informative content. They skillfully combine her industry know-how with real-world insights, providing valuable resources for navigating the complexities of the Aged Care sector. Olivia stands as a reliable advocate for delivering compassionate and effective care to elderly individuals, offering her support not only to fellow care workers and professionals but also to those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the sector.

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