With eyes often bigger than our stomachs, it may seem impossible practice portion control. Sometimes we get so hungry we think we’re playing the game hungry-hungry hippo, only to find ourselves two pounds heavier and too stuffed to move! With some intense investigation, our staff at CGS has put together 4 ways we can all learn to control our meal portions.
Learning to portion control can be a process, especially for a person that doesn’t know when to tell themselves no. It’s important to understand that portion control is not just about losing weight, but also ensuring you get all the nutrients you need from your meal.
How to learn portion control
Start Small, Toddler Small
Portion control isn’t as bad as it sounds. The thought of portioning our foods on our plate seems like we’ve gone to jail and our food freedom has been stripped from us! That’s not the case. Portion control is actually set up to make sure we are incorporating all of our daily nutrients. The types of nutrients we should be including in our meals everyday includes fruits, veggies, and protein (often in meat form, unless you have dietary restrictions to certain food items in each category.)
Using a toddler size plate and cup to help start off your portion control lifestyle is recommended. The toddler size plates are small and have sections for different food items. Using that as a food-measuring mechanism in the beginning will help you get accustomed to the portion sizes you need, before venturing on your own.
Eating at Home vs Eating Out
Eating home cooked meals, as opposed to eating out will help jump-start your portion control journey as well. Making a home cooked meal every night can be hard, and seem like a daunting task. Make it fun! Cook with a friend or relationship partner! Try healthy recipes that intrigue your taste buds. Eating out is quick and convenient, but often times we eat more than we should.
Also, the food purchased out may not be as nutritious as our body needs it to be. If you eat at home, you have more control over how much you make and actually eat in one setting. When you do eat out you can still practice portion control. Cut whatever you order in half. This cuts your sodium, calorie, and sugar intake. This can help you save money too! Split the meal with a person, or save the other half as a meal for later.
Healthy Snacks in Between
Eating a healthy snack in between meals can also aid in portion control. Most of us get busy during the day and only seem to eat our major meals. By this point, we’re starving and often overeat. Incorporating small healthy snacks in between your major meals can help you eat less at a major meal setting. Snacking on veggies, fruits, and even low calorie snacks can curb your appetite.
You may be thinking “it’s hard to snack on healthy things at work”. Well, don’t worry, we got you covered! Check out 5 Healthy Snacks for the Office to make snacking on healthy foods at work so much easier! Dietary experts also say that snacking in between meals, and eating less during major meals, can help you lose weight. If you needed another reason to snack during the day, you just got it!
Listen to Your Body
Listening to your body when it’s telling you that you are full is extremely important. We’ve all been in the situation where we are stuffed, but keep eating anyways. The cues your body tells you when eating play a major role in portion control. Our body is like a machine, it lets us know when we are hungry and when we are full. If we do not pay attention to these cues we can make ourselves sick from overeating. Worse, serious health problems and weight gain can occur if this is not controlled.
Related: 10 Healthy Foods to Eat Regularly
Controlling the amount of food we put into our bodies is just as important as the types of food that actually goes into our bodies. Portion control doesn’t really work unless you’re digesting the food that gives you the nourishment you need. What ways do you portion control? Does portion controlled work for you when working out or trying to be healthier? Leave a comment below to share your portion control journey and tips learned along the way!