What Does Portion Control Mean?
Portion control is about knowing the correct measures or serving sizes as per calorie counts and fat content for different foods and beverages. A must for losing weight in a healthy way, portion control is something which stands right in the middle of excess calorie intake and not eating enough. Portions of food can be measured keeping in mind a point of reference. For instance, the right portion serving for one pasta meal is what you can hold in your fist (uncooked of course!) So, today we unearth the right way to eyeball smart portions of food and a few handy tips to do the same.
Portion Control Basics: What is The Right Serving Size?
As mentioned in WebMD (reporting USDA recommended serving sizes) smart serving sizes for some foods are as follows:
- 1 slice of whole-grain bread
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes
- 3-4 to four small crackers
- 1 small pancake or waffle
- 1 medium-sized cookies
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
- 1 cup (four leaves) lettuce
- 1 small baked potato
- 3/4 cup vegetable juice
- 1 medium apple
- 1/2 grapefruit or mango
- 1/2 cup berries
- 1 cup yogurt or milk
- 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 medium pork chop
- 1/4 pound hamburger patty
Sounds pretty meagre when you compare it to how much you eat routinely, doesn't it? Well portion sizes are meant to serve as handy measures of how much of what you're putting into your body. Therefore, drawing from the above list, if you eat half a cup of cooked pasta, with one chicken breast, half cup mashed potatoes and half cup cooked vegetables, then you are eating a healthy meal made up of smart portions.
Tips for Getting Portions Under Control
1. While eating stress on the quality, and not the quantity, of food: Go for foods which are rich in fiber and proteins as they’ll keep you full and satisfied for long. Avoid fast foods and junk foods as they are devoid of healthy nutrients. Go for healthy snacks (check out power snacks recipes) such as whole-grain/fiber-rich biscuits, fruits and veggies with healthy home-cooked sauces.
2. Don’t fill your plate completely: Try and eat in small portion sizes. If you still feel hungry, go for seconds, or need be third helpings. But overfilling your plate and then eating everything which is kept in front of you is not a good idea when you are planning to lose weight.
3. Go for smaller dishes: The smaller your dishes, the faster you can fight that weighing scale. Use small cuttlery as this will help you take smaller bites and chew your food properly and relish your meal to the core.
4. When eating... just eat! It is not a healthy habit to multitask – watch TV, help your kid with homework, reply to pending mails while you eat. Sit and relax for at least one meal in the day with your family.
5. Why drinking water is important: Often we confuse thirst with hunger and thus end up eating more food when we probably just needed some water, so with proper water intake, we can manage hunger better. An extra tip - drink a glass or two of water before you start your meals. This will make you feel fuller and help you eat lesser at the table, thus contributing to fat loss indirectly.
6. Avoid eating straight from food containers - Never eat straight from a multi-served packet or container. The natural tendency to keep reaching for more is highly reduced if you serve yourself from a small bowl or cup. Just pour out the amount you intend to eat, and stop when it’s over. No one can eat just one – try and fight against that subliminal message.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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