Portion Control

Nowadays, with many restaurants serving much more food than necessary in a meal for one person, all-you-can-eat buffets and many food trends as “super-sized” meals, it is no surprise we all have no clue what ideal portions are or look like, nor can we visual how a healthy meal should be composed of. There are so many foods we eat that are packed with hidden sugars, unhealthy fats and so calories. This significant caloric intake most definitely not only expands your waistline, but cannot be good for your health in the long run. We overeat without even knowing it. So read on to find out what an ideal portion should be and how control your meal portions.

Eating smaller portions of food is the easiest way to control your weight by cutting back on your calories, although it can be challenging. You can used food measuring appliances such as a scale or a measuring cup to determine your correct serving sizes, if not you can simply visualize them.

Below are what the normal portions should like for one serving size according to the food groups.

Grain Products:
1 cup of cereal flakes is fist size.
1 pancake is the size of a compact disk.
A 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato is 1/2 a baseball.
1 slice of bread equals a cassette tape.
1 piece of cornbread is the size of a soap bar.

Dairy and Cheese:
1 and 1/2 oz cheese is 4 stacked dice.

1 teaspoon of margarine or spread is the size of one dice.
2 tablespoon of peanut butter is the size of a ping ball.

3 oz of meat, fish or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.

As you can see, I did not put any portions of fruits of vegetables, generally, I would always recommend eating as much fibrous vegetables as you wish they can only nourish you! As for fruits, one or two per day is ideal.

There are many tricks you can use to help you control your portions and create the reasonable servings. One of the greatest tricks is to simply use a smaller plate. Studies have shown that by simply presenting your food on a smaller plate you will be thinking you have a much bigger meal to consume. The emptier your plate looks and seems the more like you are to fill it up with huge portions and end up overeating.

Secondly, eat mindfully, do not rush through your meals. Take smaller bites and chew every mouthful at least six times. A well-known fact is that it can take your body up to 20 minutes to register you had enough food. Do slow down when eating. This will also help digestion as it starts with chewing in your mouth.

Moreover, learn to schedule your meals, evenly spacing them out throughout your day to regulate your blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay. Aim for nutritionally balanced meals, simply, half of your plate should be filled with vegetables, a quarter with lean proteins and the last quarter with complex carbohydrates.

Also, it is extremely important to drink enough water throughout your day. Many times people eat when they are only thirsty! So keep yourself hydrated throughout your day.

Tips for portion control at restaurants include; asking for dressings, sauces, and toppings on the side and eating half of what is on your plate, take the rest take away in which you can eat it as a second meal.

Lastly, treat yourself with your favorite foods here and there. A once a week treat is a great idea, it keeps your body’s metabolism working and gives you the incentive to continue eating clean and healthy as it gives you a mental break. Remember, what matters in reality is not so much what you eat, but how much of it you eat. Allow yourself to have desserts or even some junk foods every so often when you crave them- just do not overeat. Moderation and balance are the best long-term diet!

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