Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Know Your Portions

know your portions

Did you know that the reason you are gaining weight or failing to lose weight may be simply a matter of portion sizes? If you have never weighed or measured your food, it is possible that what you think is ½ cup of rice is double or triple that amount. 

You may also be eating portions larger than the recommended serving sizes. Eating large portions means consuming more calories which could lead to weight gain and obesity. This can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. While transforming your diet, put emphasis on learning proper portion sizes. The tips below will help you control your portions.

Identify Normal Portion Sizes

To start with, get familiar with the average portion sizes of different foods. For example, protein like chicken or steak, should be about the size of your palm. This would be approximately 4-5 ounces(113g - 141g). You may also want to weigh your proteins in the beginning to become more familiar with how much a serving size is. 

For grains, aim for 5-8 ounces(141g - 227g), which is around ½ to 1 cup. Fruits you can enjoy up to 2 cups, though it depends on the meal. For vegetables, aim for a slightly higher amount with 2-3 cups of vegetables or greens. Dairy you want to limit to 3 cups a day, not in on sitting. 

Look at the Nutritional Label

When you are first getting started and aren’t sure how much to eat, just look at the nutritional label. The recommended portion size will say right there, whether in the amount of servings, tablespoons, cups, ounces, or grams. 

You are not always limited to what the nutritional label tells you, but it is a good place to start. Some people have never considered portion sizes before, and really have no idea how much they are supposed to eat. Grab that box of crackers and see how many one serving is. Just stick to that one serving, and see if you are satisfied or still a little hungry.

Balancing Your Plate

Another great way to know your portion sizes is to balance your plates based on the percentage of the plate with certain foods. For example, if you are trying to balance your plate between carbs, protein, and fiber, try to have ½ your plate filled with veggies or salad, ¼ protein and ¼ complex carbs. It is also good to have healthy fats in there, which might be in your protein, a topping for your salad, or in your carbs.

How Big is Your Plate?

Serving your food on a large plate may mean that you may likely put more food on it and lead to overeating. You can buy portion control plates which are already divided. If you don’t want to overthink it, just try getting slightly smaller plates. Don’t just use the smallest plate you can find, but at least stop using big dinner plates when you are having a smaller meal or a snack. This keeps your portion sizes a little smaller. 

Try Measuring Cups

Use measuring cups to gauge the amount of food you eat. You don't have to buy special cups though. You can use a mug, container or tea cups that contains the right amount for you. It is a simple way of measuring the right amount of food for you every time.

Don't Eat leftovers

Wasting food is not ideal. However, if you find yourself finishing up everyone's leftovers, you will likely overeat. To prevent this from happening, cook smaller amounts of food or plan to store them and use them in another meal.

20-min Rule

It can take some time for you to feel full after eating. If you feel like eating more, try waiting for about 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping.

Ask for Less

When you are eating out, ask for smaller portions if the portions served are supersized. Take care at eat all you can buffets and refillable fizzy drinks. These can encourage you to overeat. Also watch out for meal deals. You can go to get a healthy sandwich and end up with a fizzy drink and fries. This could double the amount of calories you consume.

Portion control can be very helpful in helping you control your weight. Using these simple tips can help you adapt to the right portions for you.

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