Portion control is pretty straightforward for weight loss, but many people find it a problem when they’re trying to maintain their new weight.
Easy to understand why, particularly if you’ve ‘been on a diet’.
Most diets give you exact weights and measures…3oz of this, 4 of those, 250mls of that.
In fact, one of our bugbears is the relentless obsession with measuring absolutely everything before it passes your lips!
What a hassle and often completely unnecessary. Do you know what the best measuring device of all is? Your hand!
Big people have big hands and can eat more. Small people have small hands and can eat less. Simple portion control.
Weight Loss Portion Control – What’s the Deal?
Why get hung up on exact weights and measures? Ok, it may be a good idea when getting started on a weight management program, particularly if you’ve little idea as to how much 2oz of cooked rice is.
But by the time you’ve lost your weight, you know – or should know – what 200 calories of wild rice looks like!
Ditch the scales, unless you’re preparing recipes that call for precise quantities and use your hand instead.
It’s extremely liberating!
A Few Tips for Effective Portion Control…
Portion control for weight maintenance is just the same as for weight loss…and just as important.
Besides using your hand, our #1 tip, here are a few more in no particular order you may want to try.
#2 Everything in Moderation
Slim people are slim because they practice moderation. They eat moderate portions and avoid putting on weight as a result.
You can gradually increase your portion size once you hit your target weight, but don’t go super-size!
When eating a plate of food, most of it should be veg, around half, with a few carbs and some protein, around a quarter each.
#3 Use Smaller Plates
Probably heard that one before, but it works for weight loss. Trouble is when you’ve lost the weight the big plates tend to come out again!
A smaller plate tricks your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you really are. And don’t try piling it higher!
#4 Eat Smaller Portions More Often
A fundamental principle in our healthy weight loss plan is to eat every 3-4 hours.
We’re constantly amazed at how many people go from eating five or six small meals a day when losing weight to eating three big meals when they’ve lost it…and put on weight as a result.
Your body works best on small amounts and often. Natural portion control. It utilizes what you’re eating for energy and is less likely to store it as fat.
If you’ve been eating five 300 calorie meals a day on your weight loss program, move up to five 400 calorie meals a day, for example, to maintain your new weight.
It will keep you feeling full and your metabolism fired up and in fat burning mode.
#5 Pace Yourself
To make your portions last longer, which helps you to limit your portion sizes to what you need, eat more slowly.
It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full and turn down your apestat. You can eat a lot of food in 20 minutes!
Chew your mouthfuls around 10-20 times, put down your knife and fork or sandwich in between each mouthful and have a glug of water.
Meals that you would have wolfed down in 5 or 10 minutes you’ll struggle to eat if you take 20-30 minutes to eat them.
#6 Be Aware of What You’re Eating
Don’t watch TV when you’re eating. You’ll eat on auto pilot, lose control and be more likely to overeat.
Be aware of every mouthful, taste it and enjoy it. You’ll feel more satisfied and be more aware and in control of what you’re eating.
#7 Serve Up What You’re Going To Eat
In other words, to help with portion control put everything out on a plate so you can see it, then stop when you’re finished.
If eating crackers from a box, you’ll eat 10 before you know it. Put three or four on a plate and you’ll be less likely to overeat.
#8 Fill up on Fruit, Veg and Lean Protein
Fruit and veg contain fiber, which bulks up food and fills you up.
Protein fills you up quickly as your body can deal with relatively little in one go.
Both will help you to limit the number of calories you eat at one sitting and make portion control a lot easier.
#9 Go Easy When Eating Out
Eating out is tough whether you’re dieting or maintaining your weight.
Portion sizes can be huge. There’s the temptation to have a starter, main course, dessert, side orders, bread rolls, hors d’oevres, alcohol with your meal…
The temptation when you’ve lost your weight is to go back to eating it all, so…
…And whatever you do, avoid all you can eat buffets!
Portion Control is Key to Long Term Weight Loss…
Research shows conclusively that successful dieters that maintain their weight loss are the ones that practice portion control. Not just when losing weight, but when they’ve lost the weight too.
Portion control is vital for long term weight management. It’s a life skill worth learning and sticking with.
Practice portion control at every meal, every day and you’ll be living life as a slim person forever!”