Portion Control is learning how much food you actually need to put on your plate in order to have a balanced healthy meal. As we continue to pursue healthy eating habits and achieve a healthy weight loss program, we often overlook the amount of food and the types of food we consume. Even people who look fit and trim can be guilty of consuming large amounts of unhealthy foods. While they do appear to be healthy and fit, over a long period of time, these unhealthy foods will begin to have harmful, effects on their bodies.
One of the biggest challenges to maintaining a healthy diet is to know how much food is enough to get the nutrition you need without going overboard. Portion control is especially important if you have a condition, such as diabetes, where blood sugar is a major factor.
The truth is, many people put more on their plate than they need to. They tend to skip healthy snacks or meals and end up binge eating to make up for the lost calories. And when you’re very hungry, you may not make the wisest choices about how much you should be eating in one sitting.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your portions under control…
Eat Meals Regularly
It is stated that Skipping a meal to try and lose weight is not in your best interest, according to Health magazine
In fact, as mentioned before, all you’re doing is making your stomach cry out for food—and you may end up filling yourself with empty calories just to get your fill. The article from Health notes that you shouldn’t go longer than 5-hours between meals, and you should eat the standard 3-meals per day. Eating on a regular schedule will help curb cravings and train you to adjust to a reasonable portion size. Eating on a regular schedule, and eating a good meal when you eat is very important and is an excellent way to maintain a healthy diet.
Health magazine points out that dieters are notoriously bad at measuring ingredients in their meals—so a cup in a recipe can become 3-cups when you start preparing the meal.
This can be especially tough when preparing pasta as opposed to say, a chicken dinner, which calls for 1 chicken breast. The magazine suggests actually getting out the measuring cups and weight scales, even if you think you’re an expert at eyeballing how much food to prepare. If a recipe calls for 1/4-cup, then use exactly 1/4-cup.
Know What a Serving Looks Like
If you don’t have measuring cups handy and are in the process of preparing your meal, the Mayo Clinic notes that many foods match the size of everyday objects for reference. For example, a 3-ounce piece of chicken is roughly the size of a pack of cards, and 2-teaspoons of mayonnaise is roughly the size of 2 dice.
There’s more: a 1/2-cup of pasta (cooked) is roughly the size of a hockey puck, and a 1/2-cup of cooked carrots is about the size of a baseball, according to the clinic. Learning these quick rule-of-thumb references can help you get better at judging how much you’re taking this is extremely important when you are eating out. Restaurants can tend to overfeed you. Example: If three ounces of chicken breast is the size of a deck of cards, how big then is a chicken sandwich in a fast food place. How big is a burger that takes two hands to hang on to, and still there’s a burger to spare?
Portion control is the secret to all of your success. You will find that portion control is used in all aspects of your life. Hence the saying… “If you can’t solve a big problem, solve a smaller problem
Portion control works well with your eating. When you apply portion control to your eating, you will find that counting calories are not as critical because portion control will limit the number of sugars, starches, and carbohydrates you intake This should help you understand portion control better.
Get Portion-Friendly Serving Dishes
This is a very important part of portion control. If you look at the meal plan page on the site, you will notice that many of the meals are on portion-friendly plates!
Everyday Health suggests measuring the bowls and cups you use on a regular basis to see what they actually hold—you may be surprised! The article recommends using “portion control dishware” (i.e., smaller bowls and plates) to control how much food you can load into them. Women’s Health magazine points out there are actually portion-control dishware available out there that can still be stylish. You don’t have to have drab plastic bowls that make your eating experience less enjoyable—and you can even buy serving utensils that dole out the perfect amounts of food.
That’s right, you can still enjoy snacks along with your 3-meals per day regimen, according to the Government of Massachusetts. It suggests snacks can be friendly to a portion-controlled diet, and that you can buy smaller serving packs to help stave off the urge to eat your way through a larger serving.
Gradually wean yourself off sugary or salty snacks and embrace the deliciousness and nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables say the government website. Think small: A box of raisins, whole-grain crackers, and rice cakes. Try to space out snacks so you’re still able to eat a proper meal (the site suggests eating snacks at least 2-hours before a meal).
Go Leaner on the Liquids
The Huffington Post explains in a 2012 blog post that drinking fluids high in calories may still not fill you up, so you’re tempted to consume more than you intended.
The post suggests that eating and chewing register more with your brain and stomach and that making changes such as replacing orange juice with an actual orange can be beneficial. It probably goes without saying, but soda is not a good snack or healthy refreshment—even labels that claim zero calories are not the best choice. The blog post recommends good old water, or sparkling water (seltzer) if you want your water to be a bit more exciting.
If you apply portion control properly, then you will follow this simple equation of taking in less calories than you are burning, thus allowing your body to use the stored calories to operate, which will result in your losing weight while maintaining the proper amount of nutrients allowing you a safe, permanent healthy weight loss, and hopefully a positive change to your lifestyle.
— Diet Rite Team