Portion control is about the amount of a serving and the number of calories a serving contains. Portion control is important to control body weight which is in turn determined by caloric intake over time. A healthy diet is desirable to combat the extremes of excess and deficiency (overeating and not eating enough). Portion control is about the “middle ground.” Portion control involves eating healthy foods, but also eating balanced amounts of that food.
Here are some useful strategies for portion control.
Since most of us are busy during the day, it is easy to ignore our body’s needs, which may cause us to skip meals. However, it is counterproductive. Hunger will attack at night when you are exhausted and ready to go to bed. As a result, you end up eating too much and accumulating calories at the worst time of day. This will negatively affect the quality of your sleep, your metabolism, and your efforts to lose weight.
When trying to lose weight, portion control is especially essential during dinner.
Another way to make sure you do not overeat during dinner or any of your other meals is to eat healthy, low-calorie snacks throughout the day. These will keep you satisfied, without overloading on calories. A good handful of nuts, fruit, whole grain crackers and a lightweight whole wheat sandwich with a low-fat dressing are good sandwich ingredients. If you are already satisfied from a snack, then when you sit down to eat dinner, you may not be tempted to have that extra plate.
Drink water frequently
This is very important with regard to portion control and weight loss. The body often interprets thirst as hunger, after which you can overeat. Make sure you have a full glass of water before the meal.
Don’t overeat while you are distracted
If you anticipate any form of distraction, be it television, or a telephone conversation, you must take special care when exercising portion control. When the mind is distracted, it is very easy to overeat. In such cases, measure a reasonable amount of food in the kitchen instead of holding a large serving bowl in front of you.
This is another extremely important step, especially since it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your mind to make sure your body is full. When you eat slowly, you give your body the best chance to absorb food and send signals that it is full. However, it will be very difficult to use portion control to lose weight, if you eat quickly. Before you know it, you will have more food than your body needs.
If you feel you can eat more, wait a few minutes before eating another serving and see if your body continues to send hunger signals. In most cases, you will realize that it is the desire and not the hunger that motivated you.
At the end of the day, with these simple steps, you can exercise portion control to lose weight during meals and save between 300 and 400 unnecessary calories per day. This is an important savings since 300 calories a day can save you 3 pounds a month!
*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.