Portion control and portion size play a major role in successful results. Especially when implementing sustainable lifestyle changes and creating healthy eating habits. A portion relates to the correct amount that a person should eat during a single meal or serving. Society has a critical part to play in our misguided perception of portion sizes. This is evident in portion sizes served at restaurants and fast-food franchises.
Correct portions aid in successful calorie control and is a large component of healthy and sustainable weight loss. There are not always labels to read when you are away from home. Make a habit to understand what and how much you are eating, every time you eat. This makes eating away from home easier to gauge, ensuring you eat correct portions and choose healthier options.
Simple tools to assist in weight loss include food scales, measuring cups and measuring spoons. Hunger decides portion sizes and the hungrier we are the larger the portions. Measure your food instead of guessing. Repeated practice will result in less measuring and more accurate portion control without having to use scales and measuring devices.
Here are some methods to limit overeating and control portion sizes:
- Do not have bowls of food on the table that you dish from, instead present a plate of food. This will limit the temptation of seeing food on display and wanting more.
- The common response to you for wanting to dish up a second serving needs to be NO.
- Estimate a good portion and stick to it. If not your goals won’t be reached and a successful lifestyle change will be difficult to achieve.
- Ensure that you follow an eating schedule. This may help eliminate dreaded snacks or overeating.
- When you do want to eat, monitor and control your cravings allowing you to eat when hungry and not starved.
- Always have a serving of water with every meal to assist with digestion and help control portion sizes.
As mentioned earlier- hunger controls portion sizes and eating less and more often have the best results! The hungrier you are the more likely you will not follow your portion control or eating schedule.
It is recommended that the tradition of only breakfast, lunch and dinner must now include at least 2-3 snacks. That would result in smaller portions being required throughout the day. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is especially beneficial in controlling your insulin levels and is critical for individuals with diabetes. High-frequency eating will also control your hunger and prevent overeating. If you need a snack between meals, have healthy alternatives. Try fruit or vegetables, these will fill you up nutritiously without the fat and calorie content found in other snacks. Be sure to drink sufficient water throughout the day.
There is a delayed reaction from the brain to send the message to your stomach that you’re not hungry anymore. This takes approximately 20 minutes, to eliminate overeating, we should eat slowly and enjoy the flavours of our meals. This limits relying on your body to tell you when it is full, always trust your portion control knowledge.
Studies have shown that food diaries are one of the most effective ways of controlling portion sizes. Monitor and log your meals including the estimated portion size and the actual portion size consumed. Estimate the additional calories consumed asking yourself if you were that hungry and what your mood was at the time. Try to find triggers that result in these changes in your schedule and portions.
Monitoring and regulating these portions and schedules are not easy but they are worth the effort. We assure you they become easier over time as your inner scales start to understanding your required schedules and portions. Rely on requirements, not cravings!
Stay strong and determined and soon you will be losing those centimetres and living a healthier & happier life.
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