When it comes to weight management, there are a few different strategies to keep in mind. Often, you will combine these into one effective, straightforward regimen. What are they? Exercise, replacing unhealthy foods, reducing stress, and controlling your portion size. With exercise, you spend time maintaining your body and spending the fuel your body has saved up. Likewise, switching out unhealthy foods means getting overall better health, and reducing stress is extremely helpful when combating weight gain.
Lastly, though, you have portion control to consider. Portion control speaks to the amount of food you eat, each time you eat. Though it takes some getting used to, by regulating the amount of food you eat with every meal, you can seriously help improve your overall health, combat weight gain, and even slim down a bit.
When Size Matters: Portion Control and Dieting
To begin, think about how often you eat and how much you eat at each meal. Now add 25 percent to that, according to WebMD. Truth is, if you are like most Americans, you are underestimating how much food you eat everyday. For one, this can lead to undesired weight gain, and what’s more, this can perpetuate a misunderstanding of how much food actually equals a “serving.” If you want to start implementing the very healthy practice of portion control, knowing how much food you actually consume is essential. I suggest getting a nutritional diary program to keep track of your intake.
That said, once you gain some clarity with your actual consumption, try to slowly work away from that to a lower, perhaps more balanced level. Portion control not only means reducing your overall calorie intake (but it does not necessarily mean counting these calories), but it also means planning and choosing how much you’re eating and when. Here are some tips for keeping portion sizes in your control:
- Get a strong understanding of serving sizes. WebMD (link above) has a great go-to style list of common food you should familiarize yourself with.
- Use smaller dishes when you eat – this will help limit the portions you consume!
- Opt for the smaller snacks. When people get larger snacks, they often don’t realize how much they are really eating.
- Switch out some of your sugary, refined snacks with healthy vegetables and fruits. Whole foods high in fiber can increase the feeling of fullness or satiety – this means you’ll be less hungry even if you eat a smaller snack.
- Try to eat snacks when you’re hungry – don’t worry about spoiling your dinner. Why? Because snacking on small things more often can help you avoid overeating during larger meals. Just be sure those snacks actually help you eat less, not more.
- Keep easy-snacking foods out of sight. As they say, out of sight, out of mind!
Keeping Health in Mind is Essential
There is one big rejoinder here: keep you health in mind, always! Don’t use portion control as an excuse to hurt your health. You must be sure you’re getting enough nutrients and calories to support a healthy, well-rounded body. Don’t think that cutting a food group or nutrient out of your diet is alright to do without proper precaution.
Control your diet, but understand that health is essential over a certain body type or size.