Practicing portion control is probably one of the hardest things to do whether you’re dieting or trying to maintain your weight.
Especially when dining out, restaurants tend to give fairly large portions especially when it’s pasta. Whole grain or whole wheat pasta is healthy when it’s cooked properly – but a large portion is too much! Pasta dishes should be served as a side dish versus being the center of the entire meal.
There are two things that I recommend:
– 1) Use a smaller plate at home. When you’re dining out, ask the waiter to bring you a “take home” box and immediately remove half of your meal. This will help you overcome the temptation of eating too much.
– 2) Each meal should consist of protein (one-quarter of your plate), vegetables or fruit (one-half of your plate), and unrefined grains (one-quarter of your plate).
Additionally, your calorie intake should be spread evenly throughout the day. I really like one of the statements Rick Gallop (an author) made, he said “If your digestive system is busy processing food and steadily supplying energy to your brain, you won’t be desperately looking for high-calorie snacks.”
Today everything has been supersized!
Instead of a can of soda you get a 24 ounce bottle, chips and snacks come in extra large bags, or everything is “king size”. Sometimes you may get a price break on products in a larger quantity but it doesn’t help your waistline if you don’t practice portion control!
It also makes it difficult to realize and visualize what a portion size should be. So try using the following:
– For meat – three to four ounces equals the size of a deck of cards
– Your thumb is approximately one ounce (from base to the tip of it) or one tablespoon
– For females, the palm of your hand equals roughly four ounces
– For males, the palm of your hand equals roughly six to eight ounces
– One cup is the approximate size of a tennis or baseball
– A female’s fist is equal to approximately one cup
– When you cup your hands – this is equal to approximately two ounces
So whenever you reach for something to eat take a “visual” look at the portion amount and follow the above to keep your portions in check!
Consider purchasing foods (especially snack foods) in single servings instead of large or extra large bags. And remember that fruits and vegetables are your most nutritious and low-calorie snacks!