Those suffering from obesity are likely having a difficult time with portion control. The amount of food eaten is often a bigger contributor to weight gain than the type of food eaten. Even healthy foods consumed in vast quantities can lead to an overabundance of calories and unwanted pounds.
To help ensure portion sizes are managed, healthy eaters can use the following tips.
Understand what a healthy portion looks like. Today’s diners have distorted views of portion size because of enormous restaurant servings and product packaging.
Pre-portion food bought from the grocery store. Take the big bags of carrots, crackers, and grapes and break them into smaller single serving bags with one portion each. Many products come pre-packaged like this already. However, don’t just assume the amount included in each serving is healthy; verify prior to purchase.
When eating out at restaurants, split meals when possible. Or, ask for a to-go container when the food is brought and immediately stash half away for leftovers.
Don’t mindlessly snack in front of the computer or television. Instead, place a single portion of a snack on a plate. When the plate is empty, it’s time to stop snacking.
Use smaller dishes. Research shows that large plates and bowls cause portion size to increase, even without the eater’s knowledge. People fill them mindlessly and reasonable size portions appear tiny and unsatisfying. Smaller dishes make people feel content with smaller amounts.
Avoid second helpings. Allow enough time to pass so the brain can register fullness instead of immediately aiming for another serving. If hunger still persists, accept second helpings of vegetables or salad. The added fiber in these foods will help increase satisfaction.
Avoid the “go large” option at fast food restaurants. Remember that the standard size likely already includes multiple portions.
If eating at a friend’s home or in a restaurant, don’t be pushed into finishing a plate of food when full. Social pressures often force food when it’s not wanted. Politely decline and leave it at that.
Just say “no” to all-you-can-eat buffets. The temptation to over-indulge is too great when the food supply is endless.
Controlling portions is one of the most effective tools for losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also a helpful way to prevent the discomfort of indigestion. For those who practice portion control and healthy food selection but are still gaining weight, there may be some other health issues taking place. Read the article The Real Reasons Diets Don’t Work for insight and meet with a doctor or nutritionist if the problem persists.