Just how much food is enough? Studies show that food portions worldwide are increasing and we’re eating more and more than we actually need to, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Portion control is a continuous battle and it is not an easy but like any other good habit, it gets into the system and the benefits are immense.
Food portions are a central part of any lifestyle as well as weight loss regime. Too much and you’ll be putting back all the calories you’ve struggled to burn, too little and you won’t have sufficient energy to carry out your day to day activities let alone get some exercise done.
Weight management aside, it pays to know the food portion guidelines and be within them so that you’re still able to enjoy good food without gobbling down oversize portions which could eventually affect your health, wealth, weight and energy balance in the body.
So just how to get portions right? Here are a few tips you can apply in your efforts:
Measure out your food – Take out your measuring cups and measure out portions of cooked rice, pasta and other carbohydrates. You may only need to do this in the beginning and then you’ll be able to eyeball food and make a pretty good estimate that you’re within the right potions. Ladling is a poor judge unless you have the measurements well mastered.
2. Do not skip meals
Skipping meals will only keep you in starvation mode and get you ready for an extra large portion when you sit down for the next meal. It will also make you prone to cravings in between meals and the likelihood of overdoing unhealthy foods to satisfy cravings is high. Besides, it is not a sustainable. Stick to three well balanced meals and a healthy snack – all in the right potions. If possible, do not go more than 5 hours without eating something.
3. Eating out
Hotel and restaurant food is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to serving large portions. They want to keep their clientele happy and full and so large portions are the way to go for them. Make it a habit to eat just half of restaurant servings and have the other half packed to take home and eat at another meal or to share with someone else. If food is in a buffet setting, fill up about half of your plate with vegetables before moving on to carbohydrates and meats.
4. Alternative measurements
Know the simpler alternatives to cups and weighing scales. For example, you only need lean meat the size of a deck of cards in one sitting. A cup of breakfast of breakfast cereal is roughly the size of a fist and that a golf ball size is all the carbohydrates you need in any given meal.
Shop for portion control utensils. The bigger the bowls, plates and cups you’re using, the more tempting it will be to ladle food and soups to fill them up. Smaller utensils will get you in line.
6. Plan ahead
If you have your meals well planned out in advance, it is unlikely that you’ll be caught off guard at meal times and end up eating anything and everything in sight. Planning ahead will also enable you to cook in advance and pack food to eat when out of home.