Healthy eating is the key to a disease-free and fit body. If you eat mindfully, you are less likely to experience fallouts in your health. A major part of the population is struggling with weight gain and obesity which increases the risk of other chronic diseases that would trouble you your entire life. The simplest way to avert these risks is by controlling your diet and managing portions for healthy eating. This prevents overeating and helps in reducing the risk of weight gain. If you don’t know how to do portion control, here are 7 tips to follow. After a couple of weeks of religiously practising these, you would see amazing results.
How to do portion control: 7 Tips
Find below some easy ways suggested by renowned Dietitian Swati Bathwal to control your meal portions and make your way to healthy eating.
Use Smaller Dinnerware
If you are someone who gets carried away seeing your favourite food on the table, you can try this trick. Buy smaller dinnerware that serves 1/3rd of what you generally eat. This includes bowls, plates and also glasses. This is a magic trick that would trick your brain into believing that the food served on the plate is sufficient for you. You would no longer feel starved after eating in smaller dinnerware. Larger bowls make you eat unnecessarily and you eventually overeat. To prevent that, reducing the size of your dinnerware is the best solution. You can also check per-meal calorie distribution for reference.
Measure servings with your hands
Small people have smaller hands and bulky people have bigger hands. Since the size of one’s hand corresponds to the size of the body, using hands as a serving guide can help big time. You do not need any measuring tool if you use your hands. Here is a guide on how much food to pick according to your body size:
- Fist-sized portions of salads and vegetables
- Palm-sized portion for high-protein foods(beans, meat, poultry)
- Thumb-sized serving of high-fat foods like nuts, oils, butter
- Cupped-hand serving of high-carb foods including starchy vegetables and whole grains
NOTE: The above servings are ideal for women. Men should double the quantity as the nutritional requirements of men are higher than women.
Order half portions when dining out
Obviously, you cannot eat at home all the time. But you must not forget about portion control when you are eating out. While you cannot refrain from having your loved food at your favourite eatery, you can certainly manage their portions to prevent overeating. It is very simple.
- Just ask the person taking your order to bring half-size portions of the dish.
- You can share your food with someone to prevent food wastage.
- You can eat only the starter, side dish and skip the main course.
- You can order salads or stir-fried dishes to cut down on calories.
- Avoid buffets as then you won’t be able to control portions.
Drink water before eating your meal
This is an ultimate trick that works wonderfully! At least 15-20 minutes before having your meal, drink a glass of water. You would find that you eat less after this and feel lighter. This is because water reduces hunger and also prevents overeating. Also, people are actually thirsty when they feel hungry. This is why it is suggested that you drink water when you feel hungry. Have something only after that. If someone is struggling with rapid weight gain, they must start drinking more water to control their hunger and promote fat burning. Also, never drink water in standing position.
Never eat from a container
What most people do when they consume packaged or ordered food is that they eat it directly from the container. This might help in preventing utensil washing but it can take a toll on your health. In most cases, the packaging is a larger size and if you eat from that, you would end up eating more than what your body requires. You won’t be able to hold back yourself and then regret it later. Thus, it is better to serve food on a plate(smaller dinnerware) and then eat. This is specifically applicable for snacks.
Make a Food Diary
If you are serious about controlling your eating habits, you must make a food diary. Note down everything that you eat right from the starting of the day to the last meal of the day. Mention the portion size as well to keep a track of how your eating habits have improved over time after following these tips. This food diary would help you stay motivated and achieve the goal of healthy eating. You can also make an additional column of weight tracker to see how this is helping you lose easily and effectively.
Additional Suggestions from Dietitian Swati Bathwal
- Have 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with water to control cravings.
- Add chia seeds or flaxseed powder to meals to increase satiety.
- Take 20 mins to finish your meal as it takes 20 mins communication between the gut and brain to release hormones ghrelin and leptin which tells the brain that you are full and the other says that you are still hungry.
- Drinking green tea post meals can stimulate appetite. It is seen that 1 cup of green tea increase metabolic rate by 10 %
- Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. The same meal when eaten for dinner requires less energy to burn but if eaten for breakfast burns more.
So, follow these tips and reduce your portion size to manage your weight. This would help you in the long run by preventing overeating and cutting down the risk of chronic illnesses that are associated with obesity.
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