Whether you are trying to lose weight, eat more vegetables, gain muscle, or trying to implement mindful eating for weight loss, portioning out your meals is a simple and effective way to reach your health and fitness goals.
Too often, we rely on restriction methods and willpower to help us eat less, but ignoring hunger cues and feeling unsatisfied is no good for anybody!
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1. Use Smaller Plates To Help Bring Down Portion Size
- 2. Have A Glass Of Water Before Each Meal
- 3. Ask For A Smaller Portion At Restaurants
- 4. Give Yourself A Hand… Literally
- 5. Adopt Mindful Eating Practices
- 6. Keep A Food Journal
- 7. Wait Before Getting Seconds
- 8. Plan Meals Ahead Of Time
- 9. Avoid The Temptation of Overeating
In order to maintain a healthy weight, you need limit the amount of food you eat, but that doesn’t imply you have to eat only a few peas at a time.
Yet if we find ourselves often stuffing ourselves, we may need to retrain our brains to feel full on a lesser quantity of food.
Here are nine helpful tips on how to portion out your meals in both a healthy and satisfying way.
1. Use Smaller Plates To Help Bring Down Portion Size
Our brains work in funny ways— if our plates aren’t full, we feel like we didn’t eat enough.
The portion automatically feels small. The same goes for filling up a plate and not finishing the food.
A simple way to work around this is to use smaller dishes for your meals and snacks.
Fill up your small plate with healthy portion sizes and finish your food by using smaller bowls, mugs, and even cutlery.
You’ll feel much more satisfied, even if it’s subconscious! Never eat straight from the pot or from your leftover containers, as you won’t have any general idea of how much you’re eating.
2. Have A Glass Of Water Before Each Meal
Not only is water necessary for metabolism and digestion, but it also helps fill you up during your meals.
Many of us can’t differentiate between thirst and hunger cues, so we end up eating when we’re just dehydrated.
Drink a cup of water with all your meals throughout the day to stay hydrated and avoid overeating.
Having enough water is also essential if you increase your fiber intake, as it will otherwise be hard on your digestive system.
Many studies show that individuals who drink water before meals eat less because the water helps them feel fuller.
3. Ask For A Smaller Portion At Restaurants
For the average person there’s something unsettling about going out and paying for a nice meal and not finishing it all there in one go. What a waste!
Even if you know you’re full, you’ll pick at your food while talking with your friends and end up finishing the plate.
To avoid unnecessary guilt and overeating, order a smaller portion or ask the server for a takeaway container right away.
You can package half for lunch the next day! So not only are you eating a proper serving size, you’ve just paid for two meals for the price of one. CHA-CHING!
You can also share a meal with your friend, saving you calories and money— who doesn’t want that!
4. Give Yourself A Hand… Literally
Of course a food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons are the most accurate way to measure portions, but they’re not always practical.
This method gives you an easy way to judge a reasonable serving right in the palm of your hand!
Proper portion control is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
While there are several calorie-tracking apps available, it can be difficult to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of calories if you aren’t constantly weighing and measuring your food.
Because your hand is in proportion to the rest of your body, this might serve as a helpful reference.
Guidelines from organizations like the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) and the New Zealand Heart Foundation recommend:
- A serving size of high-quality protein is around the size of your hand.
- The amount of carbohydrates in your fist.
- A serving of veggies is around the size of your cupped hand.
- Keep good fats to about the size of your thumb.
5. Adopt Mindful Eating Practices
Food is a comfort for many of us, especially when we feel stressed, sad, or bored.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite meal to feel better, but it’s good to recognize when you’re doing it.
Eating mindlessly while watching TV or snacking while working can easily lead to overeating.
Try not to multitask while eating and slow down, really enjoying your food and listening to your body.
Mindful eating will also help you build a positive relationship between food and your body.
Read more about: 6 Tips to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Food
6. Keep A Food Journal
Keeping a food diary involves recording what you consume on a daily basis.
The dietary habits might be discussed with your doctor after reviewing the journal. Knowing how much you consume can be eye-opening.
If you are aware of this, you can alter your diet to better control your weight
Carry your food journal with you wherever you go.
You can keep a little notebook in your pocket, purse, or backpack and have it with you at all times if you choose to keep track that way.
7. Wait Before Getting Seconds
Even if your stomach is full, the brain takes a while to relay that information to you.
So, if you’re a quick eater, you might want to slow down and wait before getting a second serving. When eating, take your time and chew your food properly.
Drink some water, take a small break, and if you still feel hungry, you can grab some more food. Eating slowly also helps us eat more mindfully and enjoy the food more!
8. Plan Meals Ahead Of Time
Preparing meals ahead of time has been praised as the best nutritional strategy for exercise enthusiasts for quite some time.
Users say it helps them save time and money while also enabling them to maintain a healthy diet and weight.
By planning ahead and stocking up on food, you can avoid making hasty, impulsive decisions driven by hunger, and you can reduce the number of times you end up spending money on eating out.
The anxiety that often comes with attempting to eat healthily can be reduced with a little bit of meal preparation beforehand.
9. Avoid The Temptation of Overeating
Many people have the undesirable habit of eating too much, either all at once or over the course of the day.
The same actions may be evidence of an eating disorder in some people while merely being annoying habits in others.
Eating too much food on a regular basis is associated with increased body fat and, ultimately, an elevated chance of acquiring a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease.
Large serving sizes could be the first step toward undesirable weight gain.
Portion control might be difficult, but there are several easy ways to do it. The reduction in serving size achieved through these straightforward adjustments was achieved with no loss of flavor or satiety.
Some strategies for preventing overeating include keeping track of portion sizes, switching to smaller plates, consuming water before meals, and eating more slowly.
In the long run, learning to regulate your portion sizes is a quick cure that enhances your life and may avoid binge eating.