Portion Control 101: How Reducing Your Portions Can Aid Weight Loss Efforts
It is often said that diet is the foundation of weight loss and weight management. While focusing on healthy foods over processed ones is an important aspect of any weight loss plan, portion sizes are perhaps equally important.
Let’s face it: our portions sizes are way out of control. It’s easy to eat two to three times the amount you should be eating per meal, so it’s no wonder that even a healthy meal can quickly transform into a calorie bomb and thwart any efforts to lose weight. Portion control is key to healthy weight loss while also helping to establish better eating habits for life. Here’s how to start controlling your portion sizes.
What is Portion Control?
Portion control simply means that you’re eating the correct portion sizes your body needs for the major food groups. These include fruits and vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Incorporating all the food groups goes beyond the concept of “eating less” by ensuring that your body gets the right fuel it needs. You’ll also stay full longer, thereby reducing the emergency binge-eating that often afflicts dieters.
How to Determine Correct Portion Sizes
Measuring cups can help you be more precise in your portions. The problem is that you may not always have your cups on hand, and the process of measuring can quickly get old.
Instead, you can use visual cues to help determine portions. Consider these tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- One serving of vegetables = a baseball
- One serving of fruit = a tennis ball
- One protein = a deck of cards
- One carbohydrate serving = one slice of bread or a hockey puck
- 2 teaspoons of fat = a pair of dice
Another option is to use portion-control plates. These are designed with the above sizes in mind so all you have to do is fill your plate with the corresponding foods in the designated areas.
How Nutrisystem Can Help
As one of the leading weight loss programs, Nutrisystem continues to attract clients. It works by sending prepackaged meals of your choice that offer balanced nutrients (though you’ll still need to buy fresh produce on your own). One of the reasons why Nutrisystem works is that it portions out your meals ahead of time. All you need to do is eat your scheduled meals and nothing more.
The downside, of course is that the convenience can come with a high price tag. Yet many users find the convenience and results well worth the cost. You can also check the Nutrisystem website regularly for discounts and other promotions.
Other Ways to Lose Weight
Portion control is one major factor in successful weight loss, but it’s not the only one. Consider incorporating the following habits into your routine to get the most out of your efforts:
- Walk daily
- Aim for at least two to three hours of cardiovascular exercise per week
- Incorporate strength training exercises into your weekly routine to build calorie-burning muscle mass
- Swap out high-calorie beverages for water
Make sure half of your meals contain vegetables