Do you want to find a way to eat better in order to lose weight? Do you want to stop the up and down game of overeating and “over-dieting”?
“I was always told to clean my plate.” That’s a very common consideration for everyone. Everybody was told this several times in their life.
1. Why portion size matters to control your weight
Meal portions have dramatically increased over time so that you may be eating a lot more than you realize. Some common food portions can equal the recommended amount for the entire day. For example, on a daily 1600 calorie food plan, 5 ounces a day of grains are suggested.
Some bagels weigh up to 5 ounces – the entire day’s allotment of grains! It’s so easy to overeat without even realizing it! Lots of people don’t know how to visually recognize their ideal portion size. Can you imagine what impact this can have on our kids?
2. Food portion control?
The amount you eat or drink plays an important role in your energy balance strategy. Most people eat and drink more when served larger portions. Choosing smaller food portions can help you lose weight permanently.
Portion control is understanding how much a serving size is and how many calories a serving contains. Portion control of food is important for weight management as the weight is defined by the total calorie intake. Healthy eating is something in the middle between the extremes of over-eating and not-eating enough. Portion control is eating a healthy balance of amount and types, of varied foods.
3. Portion control with the healthy eating pyramid
The USDA created an educational program called MyPlate. It features a healthy eating pyramid where the portion size of each type of food is visually described and associated with the ideal calories intake recommended per day, depending on your age.
The Myplate’s Daily Food Plan helps to manage your daily intake by recommending the amount of food you need from each food group on a daily basis. But you might say “I know it’s full of good intentions but, how can I measure everything quickly? It’s a lot of numbers to remember….”
The key is to visually understand what represents a good food portion size and get used to it.
4. Know what is a good portion size for a given meal?
Our body gives us signs and we choose to either recognize or overlook them. The feeling of satiety is often underestimated, thus leading us to eat more than what our body needs.
But for someone who has grown up without learning to listen to his own body, it can be very difficult to control portion size just by trusting feelings. Also think that emotions create a lot of distortion, especially when we feel sad, depressed and stressed… That’s true for everyone!
That’s why we need a visual portion control guide.
5. Find the right control portion tool that works for you
You can estimate portion sizes by using various objects as a point of reference. One common way of determining portion size is to compare hand size. For example a healthy serving of protein should not be larger than a palm size piece of meat. Carbohydrate servings such as pasta can be measured by fistfuls. A healthy serving of pasta should be one fistful.
A very nice alternative is to use the Portion Tool from Meal Measure.
The Meal-Measure’s portion tool is an easy to use visual guide. It’s easy to clean, and looks fun. Good for learning portion sizing and getting more fruits and veggies on your plate. It becomes easier to measure proteins, carbs and veggies quantities all at one time.
Then you just have to lift and there you have it – without the feeling of eating on a hospital tray! You can adapt it for any type of plates and replicate the portions for many people, which is great for the family. You can also plate your dinner dishes in advance when having family dinner.
The Meal-Measure seems to be among the most popular portion control tool by looking at customer reviews on Amazon but there are other products like the EZ weight portion plate ( but it looks more like a medical tool… not so fun I guess).
One great point about this red-colored removable tray is that it takes into consideration the USDA’s healthy eating pyramid.
Of course, we need to tweak our habits a little bit including starting to cook healthier and have regular physical activity to gain the benefits of a proper healthy diet. But you’ll see that assessing the real food quantities you need to eat to stay healthy is a very good starting point when you associate it with the plate method for portion control.
Do you have specific strategies to better control your portions sizes when eating? I would be very curious about how do you handle dealing with portion control regarding kids. Please share you views in the comments below.