Weight loss and portion control go hand in hand. Unfortunately, ‘portion control’ doesn’t sound like much fun. For a number of reasons, some emotional, environmental, genetic, or cultural, not many people grow up learning how to size their portions in a way that’s both healthy and sustainable.
This article will help you understand how to better measure out your meals so you can start achieving your weight-loss goals.
Portion Control Basics
Step #1: Get Hydrated
Like most things in life, preparation is the key to success! The best way to get started with a proper diet is to drink a glass of water 30 minutes prior to each meal. If you’re wondering how this can possibly help, there are several reasons:
- You may be more thirsty than you are hungry. Plenty of people mistake thirst for hunger, which can lead to overconsumption. That is especially true when it comes to snacking throughout the day. Chances are, you’re probably not even hungry!
- Staying hydrated is important for weight loss. I’m the first one to admit that drinking water is not #1 on my priority list. That’s why I’ve made a drinking schedule for myself, and the easiest way to make sure I stick to it is to drink at least one glass of water before each meal.
- You’ll feel more full. By drinking a cool glass of water before a meal, you’ll quench your thirst, and you’ll prevent yourself from overeating.
Step #2: Don’t eat out of food containers
If you’re ordering takeout (let’s face it, most of us order out once in a while), don’t eat from the container. By doing so, you’ll eat more than you actually need to. A lot of restaurants overdo sides, and add way too many fries/starches and way too little in the way of healthy vegetables.
This rule is especially important when it comes to snacking. Empty out the amount of food you plan on eating and store the rest. Let’s be honest; it’s easy to overeat if you have an entire bag of food in front of you. If you grew up with the idea of needing to eat everything on your plate, letting someone else, like a restaurant, size your portions, is a recipe for eating too much.
Step #3: Stick to small plates
When it comes to portions, the size of your plate is incredibly important. Many of us eat from big plates, which means our portions are obviously larger than they need to be. This is a bit of a psychological trick, but one that works. Using a smaller plate makes your portion size look bigger than if it is on a large plate, which, in turn, tells your brain that you’re getting a well-sized meal.
Find a plate/bowl that’s smaller than your usual one, and use it for every meal. You’ll be surprised how much your portion size will change!
Time to eat!
Now that you’ve prepared everything beforehand, it’s time to dig in! But before you do, keep the following in mind: different types of food should be portioned according to their caloric value.
Here’s an example of a healthy dinner portion:
- Main course: Meat, fish, poultry, etc.
- Amount: ¼ of the plate
- Salad: tomatoes, lettuce, celery, etc.
- Amount: ½ of the plate
- Carbohydrates: whole grains, starches, etc.
- Amount: ¼ of the plate
- Other foods: butter, oil, condiments, etc.
- Amount: ½ of a tablespoon
Once you’ve applied these steps, try out some of these additional tips for better weight-loss results.
#1: Keep a food diary. Keeping track of what you eat, as well as how much you eat is a great idea for those of you looking to lose weight. After a while, you probably won’t need a journal, and you’ll establish a healthy eating pattern. This is very helpful, especially when you’re on a low carb diet.
#2: Eat slowly. When you eat fast, your body doesn’t have time to register when it’s full. It isn’t a race, so be deliberate about chewing slowly and savoring your food. You’ll notice a big change as soon as you try out this tip.
#3: Be patient. Changing up your eating routine will take some time, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t immediately go as planned. Just stick to it, and you’ll see results!
We hope you’ll share this article with friends by posting it on your Facebook page…it could help lots of people who are also struggling with portion sizing.