How-To Manage Portion Control When You Eat
Written by Fitness 1440 on December 1, 2017
Whether you get hungry throughout the day or just struggle to keep your meals small, there could be several reasons why and numerous ways to help manage your portion sizes. Even if you eat healthy, overeating can happen without even realizing and can minimize the success of your diet. It’s important to manage your portions as well as the food you eat.
Why Does It Matter?
The more food that you consume on a daily basis will result in taking in more calories with each bite. It can be hard to judge from the naked eye and people tend to eat with their eyes instead of their stomachs. It can be really easy to overestimate how much food you need to satisfy your hunger, so getting a huge plate of food for dinner generally is not the best way to go. You can always get seconds if you’re still hungry.
For example, if you’re trying to bulk up or gain weight then you might want to add more protein and cutting down on other foods instead of adding it on top of your meal. Controlling your portion size is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t cost anything to do and a lot of people overeat without even realizing it. With a few simple tips you can significantly improve your eating habits.
1. Don’t Skip Meals
It’s important to get a good balance of foods throughout the day to keep your general hunger low. Skipping meals can lead to your body feeling fatigued and hungry all day, causing you to eat more when you choose to have your meals.
Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to improve your health. You don’t need to have a full meal, but starting your day with something of substance can minimize your hunger throughout the day. If you aren’t as hungry for lunch and dinner, you won’t need to eat as much!
2. Use Portion Plates
They’re available at most grocery stores and can act as a reminder to limit your portions and add healthier sides like fruits or vegetables. They might vary based on the store but most will have three sections for your plate. Adding other portions can not only add nutritional value but it can help minimize the overall portion of the main item on your plate.
3. Smaller Plates
You can trick your mind into thinking your meal is bigger based on the appearance of your plate. If you use something like a salad plate it will look like you have more food than you actually do. A bigger plate will mean that you need more food to cover the plate and can potentially result in overeating. If you gradually do this you can eventually lower the amount of food that you need to satisfy your hunger. You can do this for every meal and with drinks as well.
4. Eat Slower
When people are hungry they tend to eat faster and scarf down their plates. This doesn’t fill you up any faster, and the slower you eat the longer your stomach and brain have to figure out that you aren’t hungry anymore. It takes time for your body to recognize the food that you’re eating and if you consume your meal too quickly you won’t get the full benefit of your body responding.
Eating meals quickly or on the go doesn’t add anything of significance to your health and your body won’t have enough time to register how much food you’ve actually had. Some ways to make sure you eat slower are to make sure you swallow all food before you take another bite and spend a few seconds between each
Often times when people try to lose weight they cut down on water as well. Cutting down on water weight isn’t sustainable and can actually work against you. Your body needs water, and by consuming more water you will need less food to replace it. You should always be drinking water throughout the day and before and during a meal. It helps your stomach realize that it’s full, and it can often satisfy your hunger throughout the day instead of a snack.
If you drink more water your stomach will be less likely to confused thirst for hunger. Water can be consumed all day in large amounts with almost no negative results for your body or health. It can help expand certain foods that you eat and make you feel more full just by drinking a glass with your meal. You can also substitute water for teas to add some liquid variety.
6. Sleep Well
If you consistently fail to get a healthy amount of sleep each night you will increase your chances of being fatigued throughout the day. The more tired you are will result in you needing to add energy, and many times when people try to get a quick level of energy they don’t consume anything healthy. Energy drinks, snacks, and larger portions may satisfy your need of food for the time being, but the lack of sleep is ultimately what is driving your hunger. The recommended amount of sleep is between seven and nine hours a day and you should make every attempt to be in that range on a daily basis. Sleep won’t only help your hunger, but might also help with other health issues and concerns.
7. Follow Serving Size Recommendations
Nutritional information is available on food packages for a reason. Each package will have recommended amount of food to have for a healthy portion. It may slightly differ based on your body size, but the portion sizes are good to follow in general to minimize over eating.
You don’t need to do all of these things in order to manage your portion control, but the more of these that you are able to follow will be for the better. Everyone is different and some of these steps might work better than others, but your commitment and will power will be just as important. They changes may not come over night, but if you stay with it you should see gradual results.