Portion control. Oh, I know those are two words we don’t like to talk about. But, I’ve been on a healthy lifestyle change for months now and portion control turned out to be one of the most essential changes that I made. Whether you want to lose some weight, maintain your weight or (even better) incorporate healthy eating habits in to your lifestyle, this blogpost might help or remind you in some ways.
What do I mean with ‘portion control’ and why is it so important? I was eating quite healthy for a while. Loads of greens, fruits and water, but I also wanted to lose some weight and the scale wasn’t showing the changes i’d hoped for. When I took a good look at my eating habits (documenting what you eat for a couple of days might help with this) I realized that I was eating too much. The portions were too big. Not even crazy-big, but just enough to prevent me from losing the weight I wanted and feeling more balanced. Being more aware of my food portions during the day, that’s what it’s all about for me.
I’m not talking about being unhealthy, starving yourself or doing harm to your body whatsoever. The best way to eat healthy is to eat a variety of foods including loads of vegetables, fruits, nuts and drink lots of water. So how do you achieve that without starving yourself, having to count calories and without taking away the fun and pleasure of eating? I use a few simple tricks that make portion control a whole lot easier.
1. Use a smaller plate to eat your meals from
You might eat all your meals from the same kinds of plates or bowls, or maybe your dinner plate is slightly bigger. Whatever the case is, change it up to smaller plates. I used my breakfast plates for all meals and tricked my brain in to thinking that I ate a whole plateful of food. Since the plate is smaller you can fill it up, let your brain think you’re eating a whole plateful of food, but actually eat a lot less than when you fill up a regular sized plate. Don’t cheat by filling up two plates!
2. Never eat directly from the bag
We’ve all done it. You buy that delicious bag of chips, popcorn or cookies and you open it on the couch and dive in. Without even realizing it, your hand grabs the last piece of deliciousness and the bag is empty. An easy way to prevent that and control your portion is by taking a decent sized bowl or plate and eating your food like that. Stick to the amount you’ve agreed on with yourself and put the bag with chips away.
3. Eating with more awareness
Often when we’re enjoying ourselves by eating our meals we get caught up in eating, talking or doing other activities and forget to be more conscious about the food we’re putting into our mouths. My advice is to 1) sit down for each meal, 2) take away all or most distractions (like TV or phones) and 3) eat slowly and appreciate each thing that you’re consuming. You’ll notice that you’ll enjoy the food more and fill up quicker, which ultimately helps with portion control.
There are more things you can do when you struggle with portion control, so try to figure out what works for you. Don’t forget to eat healthy foods, drink lots of water and enjoy the experience of consuming your meals! Food is not meant to be a struggle, it’s about enjoying the experience and refueling your body!