“Wow that was delicious. Could I have some more? Go on there is always room for seconds. How about another piece? Just a small one.”
All of the above seems a little too familiar does it not? We are always tempted to eat a little more of the things we like. And now in today’s day and age when eating healthy is slowly and surely becoming the norm, we tend to believe that just because our meals are packed with super foods and healthy ingredients, it is ok to indulge and eat a larger portion of something else that we love. Well, we hate to break this to you but if you’re doing the above then you’re doing it wrong.
Portion Control is not just the subject of our blog today but in fact the cornerstone of a good nutrition programme, a successful weight loss regime and a sustainable diet. As you can see, it is the imperative cog or the final piece in the puzzle to help you become and then stay lean and fit for the rest of your lives.
As you may have realised, eating right is just not enough. Eating in the right portions is what will help you reach and maintain your fitness goals. Take peanut butter for instance. Couple of tablespoons of peanut butter a day helps you glean all the important nutrients from this super food that your body needs. Any more of it, and you are pushing the waistline. Thus highlighting the very essence of portion control when it comes to even healthy ingredients. Fun fact: Natural unsweetened peanut butter is now classified as a superfood by nutritionists and food scientists the world over!
It is also essential for people to understand that portion control does not mean that you need to stay hungry or eat lesser than what’s needed for your body. On the contrary it is the exact opposite of eating less. Portion control is all about eating just enough and not overeating. It is also about picking the right foods for your portion size. It is about first identifying how much of a meal is enough and then learning to listen to cues that your body is giving out to you.
Portion control also needs to be sustainable. Doing it once in a while is not going to help. And doing it wrong will just leave you hungry and irritable and also susceptible to falling off the wagon and eating wrong. Here are, what we think, some sustainable ways to ensure that you are eating just the right portions every time you snack or have a meal.
Drink water before eating
First rule of portion control. Fill up that stomach with the all-natural, zero calorie and completely pure H2O. Have a glass of water just before you start eating. Properly hydrated, you will automatically be prone to eating only how much you actually require which means big portions are a thing of the past.
Go hard on the veggies
While trying to eat a balanced meal, go hard on the green leafy vegetables rather than the protein and carbs in your plate. Green leafy vegetables are very health intensive and allow you to eat enhanced portions of them while proteins and carbs cannot be exceeded. The fibre in the vegetables also fills you up thus busting the myth that you will be hungry if you reduce your portion size!
Palm your portions
This one is a golden rule to live by! Use the palm of your hand to understand how much of carbs, protein, fats and veggies to have in each of your meal. Divide the plate into half a plate of low starch, high fibre vegetables, a quarter plate of protein, a quarter plate of complex carbs with one tablespoon of fat to get your portion control balances correct.
Say no to plastic
Try as much as possible to ensure that you are always eating your meals from a plate. This goes for your snacks too. Plastic take away containers seem deceptively tiny and yet can pack quite a hefty portion. Instead if you take it out in a plate the food will seem plentiful the first time and desist you from going back in for seconds again.
One third for later
If you’re prone to overeating, portion one-third of your meal at any given time for later if you feel hungry again. Remember hunger usually takes almost 20-30 minutes to set in and in that time after 20 minutes have rolled on, the chances of you being satisfied and full enough to not go back to that one third left over are fairly high. This one is particularly helpful when eating out with those restaurant sized portions. To enjoy your meal and stick to your portion, ask to take away one third of your dish.
Consistent Crockery and Cutlery
Use the same bowls and plates as much as possible. A normal serving of food looks way smaller when it’s served on a huge plate which means that we’re more than likely to feel insatiate after eating from it. If the plate is really big or small, or if the bowls are bigger than you’re used to, it’s really easy for the brain to get a bit confused. It thinks you are having the same amount when actually you are overeating. This is why it’s better to eat from small and consistent plates, bowls and forks to help your brain think you are eating the same.
Eating slowly while savouring your meal is always a better idea than to wolf down your meal in a rushed manner and haphazard manner. Eating slowly will go a long way to satiate you while eating. While binging when watching TV or standing at the counter or while working will always leave you wanting for more in some time.
These are some of our handy tricks to control portion sizes so that you do not feel the need to go overboard on meals that you love or even on the ones that you intake just for health and nourishment. Remember what you eat and how much you eat together will decide where you are in trying to attain your fitness goals.