Obesity is on the rise, with more individuals than ever battling to maintain a healthy weight. Overeating and undesired weight gain are considered to be linked to larger portion sizes. Many things, according to research, can impact how much you eat. Virtually everyone eats almost everything they offer themselves. As a result, portion management can help you avoid overeating.
“One’s greatest challenge is to control oneself.” – Kazi Shams
Such a great quote. And it rings true. We can be our worst enemy, especially in regards to eating. The reality regarding calories and weight reduction is that the link isn’t as straightforward as you would believe. In an ideal world, consuming less calories would result in a physique that is both fit and athletic. Yes, it may seem appealing, but remember that when you cut calories, you lose muscle, energy, and essential nutrients.
It’ll only be a matter of time before you run out of calories and nutrients, causing you to give up your diet and binge. To put it plainly, this isn’t the most efficient way to shed pounds. But life is about so much more than calorie counting. Perceptive readers will see that I’m about to expose a surprising truth:
‘Controlling meal portions and macros is critical for weight reduction success.’
As a result, here are two things you should do first.
- Know your ideal calorie intake
- How much of each macronutrient (fats, carbohydrates, and proteins) you’re getting from your meal.
For this, you won’t need a scientific calculator or any other advanced equipment. We’ll keep things as simple as possible so that everyday individulas may achieve the body type and weight they’ve always wanted.
After you learn to trust your instincts and count by hand, you’ll be eating your way to a long and healthy life (which we presume you already know).
So here are 10 suggestions to help you measure and control portion sizes.
So what is a serving size?
Instead memorizing lists of ounces, cups, and tablespoons, associate meal serving amounts with familiar items.
Take, for example, one of the following dishes:
- Fruits and vegetables should be around the size of a fist.
- One dish of spaghetti is about equal to one scoop of ice cream.
- Meat, fish, and poultry can range in size from a deck of cards to a single hand (minus the fingers).
- Pretzels and chips are about the size of a handful of snacks in a cup.
- An apple is approximately the same size as a baseball.
- A computer mouse is roughly the same size as a potato.
- A hockey puck is roughly the same size as a bagel.
- Pancake is around the size of a CD.
- Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
- Cheese may be as big as a pair of dice or as big as your entire thumb (from the tip to the base).
As a portion guide, use your plate.
If you don’t like weighing or measuring food, use your plate or bowl as a portion control guide instead.This will help you figure out what macronutrient ratio is ideal for a balanced meal.
Here’s a rough estimate for each meal:
- Complex carbs: Quarter of the plate — such
as whole grains and starchy vegetables
- Vegetables or salad: Half the plate
- High-fat foods: Half of a tablespoon (approx. 7 grams)
— including cheese, oils and yes, even butter
- High-quality protein: Quarter
of the plate — this includes eggs, dairy, meat, tofu, poultry, fish, and beans
Remember that everyone’s nutritional needs are different, so this is only a recommendation. Those who engage in more physical activity, for example, require more nutrition. Consuming vegetables and salads, which are inherently low in calories but high in fiber and other nutrients, may help you avoid high-calorie meals.
If you need further help, several Retailers provide portion-control plates.
Use your hands as a measuring tool.
Another method for determining proper portion size without the use of measurement equipment is to just use your hands.
Because your hands are usually proportional to your body size, bigger persons who need more food have bigger hands.
For each meal, here’s an approximate guide:
- High-protein meals, such as meat, fish, chicken, and beans, are served in palm-sized quantities for women and two palm-sized servings for males.
- Salads and vegetables: For women, a fist-sized portion and for males, two fist-sized servings
- High-carb meals, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables, should be consumed in one cupped-hand portion for women and two cupped-hand portions for men.
- Foods high in fat: — such as butter, oils, and nuts — one thumb-sized quantity for women and two for men
When eating out, request a half portion.
Restaurants are natorious for their large portions. Restaurant serving sizes are on average 2.5 times larger than standard serving sizes, and in some circumstances up to 10x larger.
When dining out, you may want to request a half portion or a children’s meal. This could save you a lot of calories and keep you from overeating. Instead of a main course, you can share a meal with a partner or order an appetizer and a side dish.
Other ideas include ordering a side salad or vegetables, requesting sauces and dressings separately, and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants. Lord knows I have taken full advantage of that-UGH so Full.
The size of the plate matter, go smaller.
According to research, the size of plates, cutlery, and glasses may inadvertently influence how much food someone consumes. Using large plates, for example, might make meals appear smaller, which can contribute to overeating.
According to one study, people who used a large bowl ate 77 % more pasta than those who used a medium-sized bowl. That’s nuts.
Another study revealed that when nutritional experts were given bigger bowls and serving spoons, they ate 31% more ice cream. I enjoy ice cream as much as the next person, but I can only take so much. Surprisingly, the vast majority of individuals who ate more due of bigger servings were completely unaware of the change.
As a consequence, replacing your usual plate, bowl, or serving spoon with a smaller one can help you eat less and avoid overeating. After eating from a little dish, most people are equally as satiated as they are after eating from a large one.
Water-The ultimate drink
Drinking a glass of water up to 30 minutes before a meal can help with portion control. Drinking enough of water will make you feel less hungry. When you’re well hydrated, it’s also simpler to distinguish between hunger and thirst.
In middle-aged and older adults, drinking 17 ounces (500 ml) of water before each meal resulted in a 44 percent greater weight reduction over 12 weeks, most likely due to reduced food consumption.
Similarly, obese and overweight older people who drank 17 ounces (500 ml) of water 30 minutes before a meal ate 13% less calories without seeking to make any changes absorbed 13% fewer calories.
Drinking the same quantity of water just before a meal enhances the feeling of fullness and reduces food consumption. As a consequence, having a glass of water before each meal can help you keep track of your portions and avoid overeating.
Slow down when you eat.
Eating fast makes you less conscious of when you’re full, which raises your chances of overeating.
Slowing down might help you eat less since your brain can take up to 20 minutes to recognize that you are full after eating. When compared to eating rapidly, one research in healthy women found that eating slowly resulted in greater sensations of fullness and a decrease in food consumption.
Furthermore, ladies who ate slowly were more likely to enjoy their meal.
Now when eating on the move, or being preoccupied, or while watching TV increases your chances of overeating. As a result, concentrating on your meal and refusing to rush it improves the likelihood that you will enjoy it and keep your portion sizes under control.
Take smaller meals and chew each mouthful at least five or six times before swallowing, according to health experts.
Never eat directly from the container.
Overeating and a lack of understanding of proper portion proportions are encouraged by jumbo-size packaging or meals served from big containers.
This is especially true when it comes to snacking. People, regardless of food flavor or quality, seem to consume more from large packages than tiny ones, according to research.
People tend to eat 129 % more candy from a large containers rather than from a smaller ones. Is it because they think it’s never ending?
To avoid eating more than you need, dump snacks into a small dish instead of consuming them straight from the package. The same may be said for large family dinner servings. Re-portion food onto plates before serving, rather than serving it straight off the burner. This will keep you from overfilling your plate and from asking for seconds.
Always be aware of the serving size.
We can’t always rely on our own assessment of portion size. This is due to the fact that a variety of factors influence portion control.
However, investing in a scale or measuring cup to weigh meals and accurately measure your intake may be beneficial.
Reading food labels also makes you more mindful of correct portion sizes.
Knowing the recommended serving sizes for regularly consumed foods can aid with portion control.
Some instances are as follows:
- 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice (75 or 100 grams, approx.)
- 1–2 cups (150–300 grams) vegetables and salad
- 1 cup cereal for breakfast (40 grams)
- 1/2 cup cooked beans (90 grams)
- 2 tbsp nut butter (16 grams)
- 3 ounces cooked meat (85 grams)
You don’t have to measure your meals all of the time. However, doing so for a short period of time may be beneficial in terms of developing awareness of what an acceptable portion size looks like. You might not need to measure anything after a while.
Track what you eat.
It’s amazing how many people are shocked by how much food they consume.
Roughly, 21% of those who eat more as a result of having bigger serving bowls denied doing so. Writing down everything you eat and drink might help you become more aware of the types and amounts of meals you’re ingesting.
Those who keep a food diary tend to lose more weight overall. This is mostly due to their becoming more conscious of what they ate, especially their bad choices, and adjusting their diet appropriately.
Let’s face it, unwanted weight gain might be caused by large portion sizes. We’ve all done it. I used not be able to control my portion sizes.
You may, however, take a number of practical steps to keep portions under control. These simple changes have been shown to reduce portion sizes without losing taste or feeling full.
For example, measuring your food, using smaller plates, drinking water before meals, and eating slowly can all help you prevent overeating.
Finally, portion control is a simple fix that enhances your quality of life while also reducing your risk of binge eating.