We all know that eating wholesome and nourishing food is as important for leading a healthy lifestyle as it is for losing weight. Many of us follow a healthy routine but often, we make the mistake of forgetting that controlling and regulating food portions is an integral part of a health diet. Many a times we have been told to not overeat, but mostly this advice has been given in relation to junk food.
We think that certain foods are healthy and that gives us the license to eat as much as we like. Food portions for healthy food are not thought of as being important. But that is not true. I have mentioned in one of my articles “how to avoid consuming extra oil,” that “even if the oil is good we should still consume it in limit.” The same is true for the healthy food as well. No matter how healthy the food may be, portion control is very important, especially when we are striving for weight loss.
In most of the restaurants the servings are usually so huge that it can actually suffice for 2 people. Even when we order a salad or a lettuce wrap, the serving is usually good for 2 people. Since we know that salads and lettuce wraps are healthy, we tend to eat the entire helping. But this is not advisable. For instance, salad dressing are often high in calories and are applied so liberally on these salads, that at times they destroy the entire rationale for eating a salad. We fool ourselves into believing that we ate healthy, but we actually didn’t, primarily because we over-indulged in them. A good way out of this sorry situation is to:
1. Order dressing on the side
2. Dip the fork into the dressing
3. Stack the salad on to the fork and then eat.
By doing so, even if you consume the whole serving you will realize that you have eaten half of the dressing served. You save on a lot of calories unknowingly.
So what is portion control? It simply means eating the right size/quantity of food served.
Portion control is important for total body weight management. How much calorie we intake and how much calorie we burn determine our body weight, and to maintain healthy body weight, portion control plays an important role.
The question that arises then is how to manage food portions and control them? Here are some tricks for portion control:
- Measure what you eat. It may sound tiring and awkward but measuring what you eat really helps in portion control. Initially it may take some effort to measure every food you eat but eventually you will know how much is required onto your plate by just taking a look at it. Also after a while you will get used to the idea of eating right quantities and you will eventually learn to discard extra food or eat it some other time.
- Serve yourself in the Kitchen: Having dinners and lunches with family and friends is fun and advisable. They create bonding and generate important conversations. However, since we are usually distracted when eating with family and friends, we tend to overeat. But all you need to do is to make a simple change in order to prevent yourself from overeating in these situations. If you are striving for weight loss then try and serve food yourself and that too directly from the stove or from the kitchen. This way if you want a second helping you may hesitate to get up and serve again and also you may realize that actually you don’t want/need another helping. If you sit with all the food in serving dishes and on the dining table, you are likely to take extra helpings because you are distracted and the food is easy to reach!
- Prefer small plates/dishes. Always prefer an appetizer plate for your entrée. You will automatically eat less. When we use dinner plates we tend to fill it with more food than required and end up overeating.
- Ask for boxes when eating out. Always ask for to go boxes as soon as you order your food to control the portion you eat. Also try and order from low calories entrée section from the menu. If required order a kids size meal. You will realize that the kids’ size meal is often sufficient for a right portion eating. Ordering appetizers (as entrée) or lunch portions are also great ways for portion control.
- Add roughage to your diet. Add more fiber, veggies, proteins, fruits to your diet. Fiber and protein keeps you full for long and also fill you up fast. You consume fewer calories also as compared to when you eat carb or other food.
Health Tips of the Week
“Eat healthy, Eat in right quantity”.
1. European Food Information Council
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