Portion Control: Five Tips for Controlling Portion Size

Posted Feb 20, 2012 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy weight becomes increasingly important as we get older, and being aware of portion size can be a big part of how we can control our diets. Overeating can lead to significant health problems, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Here are five tips to help you keep your portions under control.

1. Do Not Eat After You Feel Full

When you feel full, your body is sending you a message that it has had enough food. Continuing to eat can lead to fatigue, a decrease in productivity and an increase in body fat. Eat slowly, chewing your food for at least 20-30 seconds. Doing so will allow your body to fill up gradually, instead of all at once.

2. Avoid Serious Snacking

Snacking adds more calories daily than you may be aware, and since we normally snack more idly than we eat meals, the portions can tend to be more haphazard and harder to control. It’s okay to eat small amounts of healthy foods in between meals. But try to avoid sitting on the couch with a bag of chips.

3. Use a Smaller Plate

We learned from our parents at an early age that it is rude to leave food on your plate, and a lot of us are still programmed to instinctively eat until there is nothing left. Many times we eat even beyond when we feel full. If you eat from a smaller plate, there is less area to fill up with food at the beginning of a meal and, therefore, less food for you to consume.

4. At a Restaurant, Consider an Appetizer as an Entree

Appetizers, salads and soups are usually smaller in size and volume when compared to entrees. Be sure that the dish you are ordering maintains a nutritional balance, as many appetizers fail to include fruits or vegetables. If you wish to order an entree, ask your server if it could be possible to have half of the meal served to you and half boxed to take home. Many restaurants offer “half-size” or “lunch-size” portions that are smaller, better alternatives to the full serving.

5. Maintain a Regular Eating Schedule

Eating meals on a regular schedule will allow you to better control the systems though which your body craves food. It is equally important to avoid skipping meals or delaying them as your body will then tend to grow hungrier if its schedule becomes confused. That’s creates a real opportunity to overeat. .

It’s important to make sure that you are eating the right amount of food for your specific lifestyle and body type, and this can vary dramatically. Be aware of your daily food intake and you should be able to maintain a healthy diet. Striking the right balance will allow you to live a better, longer life.

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