Struggling with portion control? Try these tips and tricks to eat sensibly and speed up your weight loss& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: It’s important to keep a track on your diet if you’re trying to get rid of that stubborn belly fat or shed those extra pounds. Perhaps, you know the drill – ‘eat less, move more’. That’s because, to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. A ‘calorie deficit’ is, in fact, the basis of most weight loss equations. Maintaining a healthy diet alongside regular exercise can help you lose or control weight. But there are several factors that can hamper your weight loss goals besides diet and exercise – and one such is portion control.
Research has shown that you tend to consistently eat more food when offered larger portions. This indicates that portion sizes are important when trying to lose weight or keep it off. Practicing portion control isn’t just lip service or helpful for fat loss. Proper portion sizes or eating the right amount of the right food can also help regulate blood sugar and boost digestion. But, not sure how to control portion sizes or measure the amount of food in a serving? Read on!
How to control portion sizes at home
Studies show that increased portion sizes can contribute to overeating and unwanted weight gain. So, controlling portion sizes can speed up your fat-burning efforts. Here are a few tips suggested by Nisha, nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon, to help manage portions at home:
- Take one serving according to the food label – learn to read labels and understand nutrition facts.
- Focus on what you are eating, chew your food well, and fully enjoy the smell and taste of your food.
- Eat slowly so your brain can get the message that your stomach is full, which may take at least 15 minutes.
- Use smaller dishes, bowls, and glasses so that you eat and drink less.
- Eat fewer high-fat, high-calorie foods, such as desserts, chips, sauces, and pre-packaged snacks.
- Eat meals at regular times. Leaving hours between meals or skipping meals altogether may cause you to overeat later in the day.
- Buy snacks, such as fruit or single-serving, pre-packaged foods that are lower in calories and have less sugars.
- Always pre-plan your next day meals that ways you won’t end up eating what you were not supposed to and you will be more organised.
Having trouble portion control when eating out?
To satisfy our palate, we all try to eat out, try different cuisines or at times on a lazy node we try to eat out but controlling and managing portion is also key on those days as well, said Nisha. Try these tips to keep your food portions in check when you are away from home:
- Have a good buddy time: share the meal with your friend
- Pack half of it for home.
- Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets.
- Order one or two healthy appetizers or
- Side dishes instead of a whole meal. Options include steamed or grilled, instead of fried – such as seafood or chicken, a salad with dressing on the side, or roasted vegetables.
- If you have a choice, pick the small-sized, rather than large-sized, drink, salad, or frozen yogurt.
- Stop eating and drinking when you’re full.
How to eat smaller portions without increasing hunger
The foremost tip for this thing would be to go slow, start minimising the portions you have been having. Here are some more portion control tips to help you eat smaller portions and still feel satisfied:
- Overload on veggies and greens and follow more strict portions for higher calorie/fat foods, like carbs, proteins, and fats.
- Fill up on water as much as possible – remember your body tricks you that you’re hungry when you may actually be thirsty;
- Fuel up yourself with some healthy snacks! Snacking between meals will make eating smaller portions much easier. Just make sure those snacks are healthy and good for you
- Add on healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs so you’re not running on fumes.
- Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you just think you’re hungry because you’re used to eating more. This will be a gradual process you’ll need to learn.
Also, consider these additional healthy tips for optimal results:
- Take your time: Take your own time to finish up the meals, the more you chew it, the more you will enjoy your meal and more satisfied you would be and that would be stopping you to overeat
- Use smaller plates: Having a smaller plate may make it look as though there’s more food on it. It’s a way to “trick” your brain into thinking you are getting more.
- Hydrate: The most vital one but usually we all forget is water, take a big glass of water before sitting down to eat and you ll surely not end up eating more than your satiety.
- Do not eat with distractions: Never eat your food while watching TV, working on a laptop, or using mobile phones – you will end up overeating.
- Use a plate or bowl: Never eat straight from the bag or box. Measure out snacks, including fruits and veggies, into appropriate portion sizes before having them.
The bottom line is, we need to understand that managing portion is not any diet, its lifestyle modification and for sure initially, it seems tougher but gradually it will streamline. We hope these weight loss tips will be helpful as you try to get fitter and healthier.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.