Portion control and weight loss

”Walnuts are healthy, I can have a whole bowl”. ” This bread is whole wheat, I’ll have two slices”. “These chips are oven-baked, I’ll finish up the entire bag”. Have you ever convinced yourself that since a certain food is healthy you can indulge in more servings? Unfortunately, whenever it comes to calories, they count even when they come from healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. If you are trying to lose weight or trying to maintain it, portion control is key. Here are a few tips that can help you control your portions and your waist size:

  1. Measure your food: Until you are familiar with what a 100 gram portion of meat or chicken looks like, use a kitchen scale. Of course, it’s impractical to carry a scale around, so here are a few clues that you can use when you are eating out.

    –          1 cup vegetable or cereal flakes: size of a baseball

    –          3-oz meat or chicken: size of a deck of cards

    –          1-oz lunch meat such as turkey: size of a compact disc

    –          1 slice of bread: size of a cassette tape (remember the days haha :) )

    Image via Wikipedia

    –          1 oz or 2 tablespoons: size of a golf ball

    You can find a more extensive list at WebMD Portion Control Guide

  2. Check serving size on prepackaged goods: The number of calories, carbs and fats is written on labels per serving.  So if a bag of nuts says 2 servings, be sure to divide it in two or else you’ll end up consuming double the calories, carbs, and fats.

    Image via pbskids.org

  3. Put your food on a plate: Instead of eating directly from the container put the food on your plate. The same applies when you have cooked the food yourself. Do not put the whole pan on the table. Refrigerate directly the food that you are not going to eat and you will be less likely to overeat. You know what they say: “Out of sight out of mind!”
  4. Avoid eating in front of the TV or the computer or while talking on the phone,… the list can go on and on but you get the idea. Once you are concentrating on your task, you are less likely to pay attention to your food and more likely to eat in a hurry neglecting your satiety signals. Sit down, have a mouthful, chew it thoroughly and enjoy it!
  5. When you are cooking, avoid nibbling and tasting : Moms and cooks tend to forget that a spoonful of sauce while tasting is still a spoonful and contains some calories. These calories add up throughout the day.
  6. Avoid cleaning your child’s or spouse’s plate: Moms, you know what I’m talking about! Be careful of the leftovers on your child’s plate. Don’t feel the urge to finish it up for them, stick to your portion and you won’t see those pounds sneaking up on you.
Ella learning to eat

Image by Cha... via Flickr

One thought on “Portion control and weight loss

  1. Pingback: Shaping up your plate for National Nutrition Month | Health 'n' Horizons

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