After a tiresome day of work, the last thought we can get is to control what we are eating. But for people who diet or wish to maintain their figure, that’s exactly what they should be doing. The days are long gone when we could eat bread and feel satisfied that the calories consumed are not many.
Portion Control and Diet: How It Works
Keeping a check on the amount of food that we eat is known as Portion Control and an important aspect is the correct serving size — the amount of food recommended by government agencies. The serving size can be understood by reading nutritional labels.
The prerogative of the portion size is on our will but most of the times it is larger than the serving size due to ignorance on our part. Portion control creates awareness of how much we actually eat and how many calories are consumed by us.
Portion Control and Diet: 10 Easy Tips for Smaller Servings
Portion control is not a herculean task, by following some tips, it can certainly be attained. Here are 10 simple ways to keep your portions a healthy size:
1. Measure accurately. Equipments like a tablespoon or a teaspoon should be used for foods and beverages.
2. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. An interesting way to make sense of serving sizes is to make a comparison between a serving size and a familiar object. For example, three servings of cooked meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Other easy measurements to eyeball include:
- ½ cup is the size of an ice cream scoop
- 1 cup is the size of a tennis ball
3. Use portion control dishware. It would be preferable to measure dishware of the smaller size and understand the quantity of food we consume which may at times be deceiving
4. Dish out your servings separately. Another option that could be considered is to serve food directly on the plate rather than arranging it on the table which could lead to second helpings
5. Make your own single-serving packs. When in the mood of snacking, it is advisable to pack your favorite food items in zipper bags which allow you to keep a control on your consumption. This habit will also make you aware of how much food you need.
6. Add the milk before the coffee. It is better to put skimmed milk before pouring the beverage to get an idea of the amount of drink that is required.
7. Measure oil carefully. We should also ensure that oil is not put directly on food or into the cooking pan. Even oils that are considered healthy do contain calories.
8. Control portions when eating out. It is a good change to eat out but it’s even better to share that mean or have a dressing by your side while eating a salad.
9. Add vegetables. While eating a meal, the idea is that the volume increases and not the calories so for that we should add more vegetables to our meal or even couple it with a low calorie vegetable soup.
10. Listen to your hunger cues. Binging is not good, it is better to eat when you are really hungry, to understand that you should stop eating when your hunger is nearly satisfied.