Want to lose weight? Control your portions like this

How much you eat is one of the deciding factors behind the success or failure of your weight-loss strategy. Here 10 smart portion control strategies that you can follow while planning to shed those extra kilos.

You hit the gym regularly and you are very conscious about what you eat. But still the numbers on your weighing scale are not satisfactory. Well, do you check how much you eat? Research in the field of nutrition science says that the portion of your food is as important as what you eat when it comes to weight loss. So, portion control should be a significant element of your meal plan while you are intending to shed those extra kilos. The best thing about the portion control theory is it espouses the concept of moderation, not martyrdom. So, you don't have to cut out any of your favourite foods while controlling your portions. Here are 10 smart ways to bring down the quantity of food that you eat.

Opt for small dishes

When you are looking to lose weight, the first thing you would want to avoid is overeating. But did you know that you can manage this problem just by reducing the diameter of your plate? Yes, you can reduce about 20 per cent of your overall calorie consumption in a day simply by making this small change. It may enable you to 1kg of your body weight a month. This is because when you opt for a large plate, the food seems less, and you are more likely to fill it up with more food, resulting in overeating. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Cornell University, people who were asked to eat food in a large bowl consumed 16 per cent more cereals than those who ate food using smaller bowls. Add small utensils to your kitchen collection that will stop you from eating too much while ensuring that you don't skimp on your nutrients.

Precede your meal with a glass of water

Water plays a crucial role in the majority of your body functions and it can also be a great way to reduce your calorie intake. When you drink water before you eat, you are less likely to eat more. This is because when you are hydrated, your appetite goes down. According to the findings of a University of Utah study, two cups of water before each meal can help you lose 30 per cent more weight than those who remain thirsty before eating. This is probably because we sometimes mistake thirst for hunger and end up overeating. The lesser you eat, the lesser is your calorie intake. This is what takes you closer to your weight-loss mission.

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Swear by the half-plate rule

Many dieticians recommend this to their clients who are on a weight-loss plan. It a simple way to help you when you maintain the ideal portion when you are not able to measure everything that you are having. In this rule, half of your plate is filled with veggies and fruits and the other half consists of proteins and whole grains. Following this will ensure fewer calories even when you are not counting them.

Never avoid your meals

It is a not rocket science that you tend to overeat when on an empty stomach. So, don't starve yourself if you want to shed those extra kilos. Instead, maintain a healthy gap between your meals. This is a good way of controlling your portions. Experts in the field of nutrition recommend that you should eat foods rich in fibre, protein and healthy fats at regular intervals to keep you satiated and prevent overeating.

Buy small-sized containers for your snacks

This is a good trick to prevent going overboard on them and restricting your calorie count while you are on a weight loss mission. Make sure that you only keep a few of your snack boxes within your reach. The rest should be at a slightly difficult location.

Avoid eating at a restaurant

When you are on a weight loss mission, it is recommended that you should stick to home-made food. However, if you can't resist your favourite restaurant fare on a particular day, pack it home and instead of having it there. Wondering why? Well, while eating out, you may end up having larger portions, suggests a study published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. After bringing the food home, divide each item in multiple small-sized containers before you start gorging on them. As you lay the table, make sure that you bring only one container for each item. Exception can be made for the ones containing veggies.

Use utensils with measurements

Measuring cups and scales are good options when you are trying to control your portions. This way, you have an idea of how much you are actually putting into your mouth. Knowing this is extremely important to keep your calorie count in check. Stop using these equipment once you become a pro at figuring out the measurement of a serving size.

Read the food label for caloriecount

When you buy packaged food, don't forget to check the calorie count per serving and the serving size as well. This will help you make the right decision about how much you can put in your mouth.

Take time to eat

When you eat your meal quickly, the possibility of you missing your fullness cues increases significantly. On the other hand, when you eat slowly, it's easier for you to figure out that you, don't actually need that extra bite. Also, going slow will allow you to pay more attention to what you are eating and enjoy it better.

Increase your protein intake

If you feel the urge of regularly eating snacks throughout the day, it could be due to the lack of protein in your diet. As per the findings of several studies, a low-protein diet can increase your hunger significantly and one particular study conducted at the University of Sydney revealed that people who consumed less protein consumed 12 per cent more calories than those who included protein in their diet.

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