It’s one thing to say “I’ll only have two slices of pizza” and another to act on it (and not eat the whole thing). Portion control is extremely difficult, let’s face it, and those large restaurant and takeaway servings don’t help either.
Pasta is probably one of the hardest foods to correctly portion with most people having double or even three times more than they should be.
But eating the right amount of food is incredibly important for good health and maintaining or losing weight. And it applies to healthy food, too.
No matter how healthily you eat, you can still put on weight if you’re eating too much. Therefore, portion control is a key factor for weight loss. Many of us don’t know what makes a normal portion – a problem known as ‘portion distortion’.
Regain some portion control with these nine simple tips:
- Eat with smaller plates and bowls. You’ll have a smaller portion but still feel satisfied. This tricks your brain into thinking you are eating a bigger meal.
- Having two portions of vegetables on your plate helps to cover it with healthy and filling food, leaving less room for higher-calorie ingredients.
- Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re full.
- Turn off the TV. Eating in front of the TV can mean you eat more without noticing or enjoying your food.
- Weigh your food. Using kitchen scales to weigh your ingredients before you cook will make sure you are cooking the correct amount of ingredients.
- Eat small regular portions. Don’t starve yourself during the day as you might end up overindulging in the evening.
- Don’t double your carbs. If you already have some carbs with your meal, do you need extra bread or naan aswell? You could be doubling your portion, so if you like to have some bread on the side, you’ll need to cut down the amount of carbs on your plate accordingly.
- Be selective with your seconds. Finish your meal with fruit rather than chocolate cake.
- 20-minute rule: Think you haven’t had enough? Wait for about 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping. It can take a little while for you to feel full after you have eaten. So avoid the temptation to keep eating and see if you get that feeling.
Dining out advice:
The fear of eating out when dieting is scary. Nobody wants to undo all the hardwork they have done all week to lose weight. Below are some portion control tips to help you keep control of your diet whist eating out:
- Avoid appetisers including bread, nuts and olives.
- Stay clear of ‘Supersize’ or ‘Go large’ options, and instead opt for ‘Skinny’ or ‘Low Calorie’ options which are still just as tasty.
- If you’re having a dessert, share it and go for fruit-based options.
- Choose a starter instead of a main course – for example if you are craving a pizza opt for a bruschetta rather than a pizza.
- Stop eating when you are no longer hungry NOT when you’ve finished everything on your plate!
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