Why Is Portion Control For Weight Loss Important?
It is vital that you keep a record of the number of calories you consume every day – and this involves calories from healthy foods as well. You don’t want to feel like you’re on a diet, but you have to eat fewer calories. And this refers to healthy foods as well. Because healthy foods, in greater quantities, can also stop you from losing weight (or even make you gain weight).Controlling portions will not only aid you to lose weight but also guard you against obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, PCOs, heart disease, insulin resistance, etc. But how can you begin eating the right amount of food?
How Does Portion Control For Weight Loss Work?
It starts at the grocery store. Check the nutrition label of any food, and you will find all the nutritional data there. And on the top left, you will find the serving size, which varies between food items. It can be measured in cups, grams, slices, pieces, ounces, etc. The serving size specified on the nutrition label is the quantity of food advised by the government. However, depending on your body needs, you need to eat more (or less) than the serving size. And this is exactly where portion control for weight loss comes into action.
For instance, the serving size of ice cream is ⅔ cups as per government recommendations. And to lose weight, you should eat the ¼ cup. But if you end up eating one whole cup, things may not go as planned. You will not only exceed the recommended serving size per person but also overdo the portions.
Here’s a sample diet chart for a woman who is 28 years of age, 167 cm tall, weighs 165 pounds, and is moderately active.
|Meals||What to Eat|
|1 cup warm water with juice of half a lime|
(7:15 – 7:30 a.m.)
|1 banana + 1 cup green tea + 2 whole boiled eggs + 1 slice wheat bread + 4 almonds|
(10:00 – 10:30 a.m.)
|1 cup fruits|
(12:30 – 1:00 p.m.)
|Homemade zoodles and shrimp/tofu salad with light dressing + 1 cup yogurt|
(3:30 – 4:00 p.m.)
|1 cup green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit
1 cup black coffee + 1 small bowl of unsalted popcorn
(7:00 – 7:30 p.m.)
|3 oz grilled fish/chicken breast + 1 medium bowl of veggies + ½ cup cooked millet/quinoa + 1 cup warm milk before bed
½ cup cooked black beans + 1 medium bowl of veggies + ½ cup cooked millet/quinoa + 1 cup warm chamomile tea before bed
Tip: If you exercise, make sure you have a banana or a cup of green tea one hour before hitting the gym. Post workout, have a cup of coconut water to refill your electrolyte reserves. And do not go to the kitchen and start eating right after exercising.
12 Ways To Control Your Portions
1. Start By Drinking Water
Did you know that you tend to feel hungry when you are really thirsty? Yes! It is true. Dehydration causes your brain to believe that you are hungry and creates a lot of imbalances in your body. So, drink at least 3 liters of water per day. Or 4-5 liters if you participate in strenuous workouts every day. Drink 2 cups of water 20 minutes before any meal. Water will help you avoid overeating, prevent dehydration, flush out the toxins, and regulate your body temperature.
2. Include Low-Cal Foods In Your Diet
Vegetables top the list of low-cal foods. They are low in calories and nutrition-dense – they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The vitamins and minerals help increase your immunity, metabolism, and other body functions. And the dietary fiber keeps you filled for a long duration, promotes bowel movement, and increases the number and variety of good gut bacteria.
3. Have A Filling But Small Breakfast
You should never skip breakfast and you must have it within an hour of waking up. And take care of how much and what you eat for breakfast. Swap breakfast cereal, pancakes, and waffles with broken wheat, millets, quinoa and eggs, oats, avocado, nuts or seeds, a few berries, etc.
4. Cut Down On Refined Carbs
Love eating cakes, ice creams, chocolates, etc.? These foods are the main causes of weight gain and a rise in the obesity epidemic. You must give up on refined carbs like bread, pasta, flour, white sugar, cookies, etc. Believe me, once you get rid of this obsession, you will lose weight fast and start feeling active all day long.
5. Be Careful With Fruits
Fruits are tasty and nutritious but are also packed with fruit sugar or fructose. Like nuts, you can easily overindulge fruits, leading to an insulin spike. Fruits are wholesome, but because they contain a good quantity of sugar in them, you have to be careful not to overeat high glycemic index (GI) fruits like grapes, sapota, mango, jackfruit, etc.
6. Do Not Skip Meals
Skipping meals can make you feel more starved, leading to overeating during the rest of the day. Also, starving yourself slows down metabolism, which eventually makes you gain weight and look lazy.
7. Weigh Your Food To Count Calories
Yes, this is the best way to find out how many calories are there in half a potato or a tablespoon of rice. Checking online for calorie data is an estimation. If you are dedicated to losing weight effectively, you must weigh your food. You can buy a weighing balance online. However, if you have not arrived at this point yet, make it a point to check calories on a good fitness app.
8. Practice Good “Eating Out”
You need to eat healthy, but do not lock yourself in when it’s time to have a good time with friends, family, or a date. Just make the correct food and portion choices. And it starts by picking the restaurant or hangout place that serves healthy food. Ask the chef to use the needed amount of lean protein, veggies, and healthy fats to cook your food. If you are out on a first date and do not want to come across as picky, just prefer a delicious, healthy appetizer or a main course and end it on a sweet note with fruit and sour cream/yogurt as dessert.
9. Eat Slowly
Use a small spoon and take your time whenever you eat. If you are using a fork or chopsticks, make sure you pick up small amounts of food each time. Chew your food and enjoy the taste. Eating slowly restricts you from overeating, and you will soon feel full.
10. Quit Eating From The Bag
It is okay to eat some crunchy snacks in confined amounts – like popcorn, kale chips, sweet potato chips, etc. But when you have them straight from a box or bag, the story is different – you end up eating a lot of calories, surpassing the suggested serving size and the required portion size. So, you MUST stop eating directly from the bag or box. Take the snack out in a small plate or bowl and enjoy it.
11. Earn Your Food
Of course, you earn your food! But what I mean by this is that you must spend energy to put in any more energy in the form of food. And the best ways to use the already stored fat is to work out, take the stairs instead of the escalator, get up from your workstation and walk around every one hour, and walk to nearby places. This way, when you sit down to eat, you will not only feel great about doing the right thing for your health but also not be sinful of overeating.
12. Drink From A Tall Glass
The best way to regulate your portion is to drink fruit juices, smoothies, and vegetable juices from a tall glass. You will not only drink less (as compared to wide glasses) but also enjoy your drink more by sipping gently.
4 Best Portion Control Plates
There are several brands of portion control plates available in the market. Talk to your nutritionist to find out which one will be perfect for you and buy one to avoid overeating.
- Portion Master Skinny Plate Weight Management Portion Control Plate: It is the best portion control plate for achieving weight loss goals.
- Meal Measure 1 Portion Control Tool: Good for portion control in general.
- Choose MyPlate 10-Inch Plate for Adults & Teens, Healthy Food and Portion Control: Affordable, durable, and good for portion control.
- Precise Portions 2-Go Healthy Portion Control Plates: Best for people who are always on the go.
Points To Remember
- Do not get up for a second or third serving.
- Do not eat your children’s leftovers.
- To prevent food wastage, store the leftovers for the day after. Do not overeat.
- Keep your doctor informed about your new diet and lifestyle, check your weight every week, and get your body composition analysis done every month.
Controlling portions is similar to controlling your emotions. Understand your cravings, but do not give in to them. When you follow this, you will see a difference in your knowledge to make decisions and solve problems. You will encounter less emotional outbursts, and start being calm and productive. And I can assure that you will love the way you will feel about yourself. So, give your best and bring out your novel avatar. Start NOW!