Unwanted weight gain may start with large portion sizes.
An increase of your portion sizes are one of the contributing factors to overeating and gaining unwanted weight, and that’s why understanding the right portion size for you is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight and necessary for any successful weight-loss program.
Regardless of the diet you’re on, knowing the correct portion size allows you to know exactly how many calories, carbs, sodium, or fats you are consuming.
To help you meet your weight loss goals, use this basic guide and tips to get your portions right.
There’s a difference between “portion size” and “serving size.”
To make it simple, a portion is the amount you add on your plate, while a serving is a standard measurement of food, such as a cup or a gram.
Use smaller dishes
Sizes of plates, spoons and glasses can influence how much food someone eats. For example, using large plates can make food appear smaller, which often leading to overeating.
Therefore, swapping your usual plate, bowl or serving spoon for a smaller alternative, as it may reduce the portion of food and prevent you from overeating.
Start all meals with a glass of water
Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will naturally help with portion control.
Filling up on water will make you feel less hungry. Drinking before a meal also helps you distinguish between hunger and thirst.
Eating slowly may be a much smarter approach, as it could provide a number of benefits.
When we eat too quickly we end up eating more than we need, which leads to poor digestion and often leads to weight gain.
After you have eaten, a hormone called ghrelin is suppressed. These hormones tells your brain that you have eaten, reducing appetite and makes you feel full.
This process takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive these signals.
Don’t eat them from the bag or container
When you sit down with a bag of chips, you don’t realize how much you’re actually eating. Rather empty them into a small bowl to prevent eating more than you need.
The same would apply at family meals. Rather than serving food directly from the stove, re-portion it onto plates before serving.
Doing that will help prevent you from overfilling your plate and returning for more.
Use Your Hands as a Serving Guide
Forget your measuring cups, spoons, and scale. One way to gauge your appropriate portion size is by simply using your hands.
Your hands usually correspond to your body size. Bigger people who require more food, would typically have bigger hands.
A rough guide for each meal:
Your palm determines your protein portions.
For example your meat, fish, poultry and beans — A palm-sized serving for women and two palm-sized portions for men.
Vegetables and salads
Your fist determines your veggie portions.
A fist-sized portion for women and two fist-sized portions for men.
Your cupped hand determines your carb portions.
For example, whole grains and starchy vegetables — One cupped-hand portion for women and two for men.
Your thumb determines your fat portions.
For example, butter, oils and nuts — One thumb-sized portion for women and two for men.
Remember that this is a rough guide, as people have different dietary needs. For example, those who are more physically active often require more food.
In the end, listen to your hunger cues. Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. By establishing these good habits from the start, you are more likely to reach your goals and keep the weight off for good.