It’s not only what you eat but also how much you eat that will determine your weight-loss success. Our easy portion control tips will help you manage those food portion sizes.
The modern trend for upsizing means larger portions have become normal and has enabled us to lose our sense of what constitutes a normal size. We know that portion sizes have increased in recent years.
This is happening not only in restaurants and fast-food outlets, but also at home. And while it is important to watch our portion sizes when we eat out, it is what we eat at home that has the biggest impact. This is where we consume most of our meals and impacts our weight over time.
Experts estimate that eating just 100 fewer calories a day can help weight loss. Spread this out over a year and you can lose up to 10 pounds a year.
This means we need to be portion aware and learn what a recommended serving is. It’s not about counting calories or using measuring cups and scales. It is about controlling how much food we put on our plates.
Eat your meals at the table, not in front of the TV. It is too easy to eat more when your attention is turned elsewhere.
Eat slowly, take your time and savor every mouthful. Gobbling your food down will leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Put your knife and fork down every few mouthfuls. It takes your stomach 20 minutes to register that it is full. Slowing down your eating allows it to catch up.
Don’t place serving plates in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves. Fill the plates in the kitchen to reduce temptation.
When plating your food, fill half the plate with vegetables. Slice meats such as chicken breast on the bias and fan out over the plate. This will give the illusion of having a full plate.
To avoid filling up on seconds, put leftover food away after serving the meal.
Have a glass of ice-cold water before the meal then leave a jug of water on the table. The water will help you feel full and control your hunger.
Use smaller size plates and bowls (8 – 10 inch dinner plates). If you are used to filling your plate, a small plate that is filled with food will look far more appealing than a large plate that is half empty.
Another easy trick is to prepare single-serve meals in small ramekins, soufflé cups or individual gratin dishes. These make handy one-serving sizes and the leftovers can be reheated the next day.
Think about eating less. Instead of eating a full dessert, share it with a friend. Have one scoop of ice cream rather than two. When you go to eat two cookies, put one back and only eat one.
It sometimes takes a conscious effort to reduce our eating. Stop and ask yourself, am I really hungry? Or am I eating out of habit or for other reasons?