For all those who are looking to lose weight, maintain an ideal weight and stick to a healthy diet: be of good cheer! There is one key that unlocks the doors to all three. And that key is - portion control.
The secret of healthy eating is to choose smart portions for every meal. It is essential to have the right amount of nutrition along with balanced calories. Portion control is a great method of keeping your weight in check and avoiding metabolic disorders. Controlling portions does not mean eating less. It just means that you eat a balanced meal. Here’s how you can practice portion control in your daily meals.
- Resize your plate from XL to M:
Food portions always look smaller on a large plate than on smaller ones. Result- and we end up adding more food till we are satisfied that the plate is full. On the other hand, choosing a small plate will ensure that you choose your portions accordingly. This method is the oldest way of keeping an eye on your portions to prevent overeating and weight gain.
- Give equal importance to all food groups:
This is especially important to prevent repeated intake of carbs and fat in your diet. If you have already taken rice in your meal, you need to rethink whether you need bread or chapatis or naan. You can never go wrong with veggies and greens so try and have some at every meal. They pack away more nutrients and fewer calories. This means that you can slip a few more carbs and proteins onto your plate.
- Never eat straight from the container:
Food containers or packets come in many sizes, mostly XL. This sends portion control right out the window. Instead of helping yourself to that yummy looking Chinese food right from the box, it came in, try serving yourself some. On a smaller plate, of course!
- Let the leftovers be:
Yes, yes, we know that you have spent years watching your children with an eagle eye at meal times- just to make sure they don’t leave food on their plates. The golden rule in all families is ‘Don’t Waste Food” How then can you let those leftovers be?
We certainly do not suggest wasting food, but it doesn’t mean you need to finish off what hasn’t been eaten. Especially if you’re already full. If it happens regularly, try cooking less or see how you can use up leftovers in another meal.
- Read the food labels:
Reading food labels helps you understand the amount of nutrition present in packaged food. The thumb rule is- the longer the list of ingredients, the more processed the food is likely to be. This is particularly useful when you’re buying processed foods and beverages. Even small portions of these contain a large number of calories. Not to mention unhealthy amounts of additives, preservatives and sweeteners. They are all intended to give us that ‘feel good’ emotion and make us crave more in the future.
- Indulge your sweet tooth, but wisely:
If you like a sweet treat at the end of a meal- try having some fruit instead of that sinful looking chocolate souffle. Remember, the sweet cravings that strike after a meal are mostly due to habit. It’s what your body wants, not needs. breaking this habit may not be easy, but you can satisfy these cravings with something nutritious, like a homemade dessert. The good thing about homemade sweets is that we can control the amounts of sugar and ghee that we put into them. Apart from that most valuable ingredient- Love! We can even substitute the ‘refined’ sugar with jaggery, dates or other natural sweeteners. best of all, they will be chemical-free and thus healthier.
To conclude: practice choosing smaller portions of energy-dense foods and a large portion of foods that are less energy-dense. When it comes to portion control- less is not just more, it is the best!