Managing your weight and improving overall health requires commitment and dedication to make lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for reducing your risk for chronic health conditions. One of the most important aspects of weight maintenance and health is portion control—business to ensure that you’re eating the right amount of food for your individual needs. Read on for 8 portion control tips for weight management and health.
1. Properly Assess Your Needs
The first step to successful portion control is determining how much food your body really needs. Everyone’s requirements are different, so it’s important to assess your own needs and goals. Keeping a food journal can help track progress, eating habits, and metabolism to get an idea of how much food you should be consuming.
2. Use Suitable Containers
Using the right types of containers can help you avoid overeating. You may have to do some experimentation to find what kind of containers you like best, but using smaller plates, bowls, and mugs can lead to more accurate portion control. If a larger portion still looks good, split it in two and save the remaining portion for another meal.
3. Utilize a Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan can offer structure in the pursuit of eating healthily. This is particularly beneficial for those who are prone to overeating or eating unhealthy snacks. Meal plans set structure for portions, when to eat, and which food items are included in the day’s meals.
4. Portion Your Plates
One of the simplest ways to portion control your meals is to create balanced plates with a variety of foods. Take a plate, cup, or bowl and divide it into four sections. Fill each section with a single food type—half of the plate should be vegetables, one-fourth grains, and the other fourth lean protein. This divides up the plate accordingly and ensures each section has the proper portion.
5. Understand Serving Sizes
Understand what a healthy serving size should look like so that you can easily measure out the right amounts of different food types. For example, a serving of protein should be about the size of your palm, while a serving of cereal should only be about one cup. Once you understand what a serving size should look like, portioning out meals becomes second nature.
6. Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Take your time when eating and savor each bite. Put down your cutlery between bites and focus your attention on the food you are consuming. Not only does this help deter unhealthy snacking, but it will also help you recognize when you are full. Eating slowly and mindfully is one of the best ways to prevent overeating.
7. Measure Your Portions
Measuring out your portions can be a great way to keep your food intake under control. You can purchase specialized portion-control equipment—such as food scales, measuring cups, and measuring spoons—to help you accurately measure the size of your servings.
8. Listen to Your Body
Most importantly, it’s important to listen to your body’s cues and recognize when you are full. Eating too much food can be uncomfortable and lead to unhealthy eating patterns, so be mindful of your body’s needs. Once you recognize that you’re full, stop eating and enjoy the feeling of being properly satiated.
Portion control is an essential tool for anyone looking to improve their weight management and overall health. With some patience, dedication, and proper tools, portion control can be easy, practical, and effective.