Let’s face it, everybody is trying to get slimmer, fitter or in better shape. You’ve been hitting the gym regularly for quite a while, but you’re not getting the results that you’ve been striving for. So what can you do? Well according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, portion sizes in the United States have doubled and in some cases tripled in the last 20 years. Those larger portions lead to more calories and could be the problem for that extra layer of weight.
To keep your figure trim, not only do you need to be eating the right kinds of foods, but you also need to be eating the right portion sizes. Everything can be eaten in moderation, but if you find yourself snacking on handfuls of M&Ms every day, you’ll likely see your glucose levels get higher and your waistline get larger. To combat the temptation to overeat the wrong foods, there are several tips that you can use.
Tricks to control portions when eating out
If you have problems finishing your meal when you go out, that’s actually a good thing. Many of us were taught to clean our plates, but restaurant meals are actually much larger than what the average person should be eating in one sitting. One trick that you can use to avoid overeating at a restaurant is to ask the waiter to put half of your meal directly into a carry-out bag, or you can ask for the bag at the beginning of the meal and do it yourself.
Tricks to control portions when eating while watching television
Whenever you’re doing something else while eating, it’s easy to fall into distracted eating. If you’re eating in front of the television or while online, set aside your portion in a bowl instead of eating straight from the bag. When food is available, it’s too easy to continue to eat long after we’re satiated.
Make favorite food healthier
If you’re interested in cutting down on some of the high-fat and high-sugar foods, make healthier versions of them. For instance, pizza is an American favorite, but all of the cheese, carbs, and fats can add to your waistline. Instead of using meat as your toppings, pile on the veggies. They add a lot of flavor, and vegetables only account for a small portion of our daily calories. Also, choose a thin crust, and cut back on the cheese.
Eat more slowly
Have you ever been eating something that tasted so good that you were practically throwing it down your throat? But then it happens. One bite it tastes great, but then the next bite you realize that you are way too full and feel a little sick. If you eat slowly, your brain has a chance to realize that you are no longer hungry. If you’re eating a meal with your family, take the time to talk to each other. It’s not only good for your relationships, but it’s also good for your waistline.
Portion ahead of time
If you feel like you’re always on the go, take 10 or 15 minutes a couple of times a week to make portion-controlled snacks and meals ahead of time. By doing this, you’ll avoid two pitfalls. First of all, you’ll be able to avoid grabbing take-out meals when you get hungry and don’t have anything with you. You’ll also know that the food you have with you is the correct size.
Use your hand to estimate portion sizes
Most people are terrible at estimating how much is on their plates. But if you use your hand to estimate, you’ll get much closer to a general idea. For instance, the average person’s balled fist is equal to about a serving of vegetable. If you want to know how much butter you should be putting on your food, hold out your thumb and make your butter serving about the size of the last digit on your thumb.
Drink plenty of water
It’s easy to add on a lot of calories through sodas, juices, and alcoholic drinks. Make sure that you are getting plenty of water. Not only will it help you avoid the unhealthy alternatives, but you can also use it to moderate your eating during meals to let your stomach catch up with your brain. Water is also great for digestion, skin, and is essential to being healthy.
When you make portion control a part of your eating plan, you’ll notice the health benefits — like a smaller waistline. Be mindful of the foods that you’re eating, and don’t fall victim to thinking that those six or seven “last bites” won’t add onto the calories that you’re eating.