April 28, 2010

11 Ways to Get Portions Under Control

One of the biggest determining factors of weight loss success is portion control. On average, we eat way too much at meal time, and often our snacks are super-sized. It is very easy to overeat when oversized portions and all-you-can eat buffets surround us. For many people, food also acts as a drug. You can become addicted and need a bigger amount of food to satisfy your hunger.

A "portion" is how much food you choose to eat at one time. Portion size dramatically impacts the calories that you consume. Portion sizes began to increase in the 1980s and have been skyrocketing ever since. Dietitians agree that portion control is central to healthy eating and keeping our weight under control. Here are some tips that can help you in keeping your portion size under control at meal time and contribute to your overall health:

1. Eat High Quality, Not Quantity: Avoid fast foods and eat fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and cereals.   These fiber-rich foods have the ability of making you feel fuller over a long period of time. Thus you eat less throughout the day if you have fiber rich food. Fast foods are stripped of nutrients, so your body will make you eat more calories in its hunt for nutrients. Replace chips and sweetened soft drinks with healthier raw veggies, fruits, whole-grain biscuits and low-fat cheese.

2. Don't Clean Your Plate: Some people will clear their plate no matter how much food is presented in front of them. This is bad habit when it comes to weight loss. By skipping on the leftovers, you'll save on a lot of calories.

3. Use Smaller Dishes: Our dish size is also increasing day by day. The common psychology is the bigger the plate, the more food you can put on it. Same is true for bowls and glasses. Using smaller dinnerware may help you consume fewer calories. Eating with a small spoon will help you eat more slowly and savor your meal.

4. Focus on Eating: Don't multitask when you are eating. Watching the TV or working on the computer leads to over eating. Try to sit down to dinner as a family, relax and savour your dinner.

5. Eat Regularly: Eating at regular intervals throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism high. If you wait until you're hungry, you're more likely to overindulge at the next meal. The ideal meal plan is to have three balanced meals and two snacks a day.
6. Drink water: Water keeps you hydrated to avoid overstuffing. It also reduces your appetite to some extent. Don't like water, have green tea. Drinking green tea, at least thirty-minutes before meal time, will help curb your appetite. However, other drinks like sodas and fruit juices can contain a lot of extra calories and carbohydrates.

7. Eat slowly: Slowing the pace a little gives your body time to send the message that you are full. So put your fork down between bites. Take time to savor each bite throughout your meal. 'Mindful eating' is a great way to help you with portion control.

8. Avoid Eating Out: Portion sizes at restaurants can be up to 4 times as big as they should be. Avoid eating out as much as possible. Also, do not visit a restaurant starving. This would lead to over eating. Even if you have to eat out ensure that you order fiber-rich foods and vegetables on the menu.

9. Don't eat out of the container: Don't eat directly out of large packages of snack foods. The larger the package, the more you are likely to eat. Take the food out of the bag or container and put it in a bowl or plate, and put the box or bag away. That way you can see exactly how much you're eating.

10.Count Calories: Weighing and measuring everything you eat helps in maintaining portion control. Make the measuring cup; spoons and weight scale your best friend. Read the labels carefully.

11. Share a meal: Share your meal with a dining partner. Both of you can share and still go away full. It's also a great way of socializing.

Cutting one's portion size can be a very efficient way to continue one's new health focus. Initially it will be tough but the results speak for themselves.

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