What is portion control?
Portion control is understanding the right amounts of food that you should be consuming at any given time. Lack of portion control is one of the main reasons why people fail to lose or maintain a healthy weight. A lot of the time people believe they are eating healthy food, however their portion sizes are far too big than what they should be. They may be eating all of the ‘good foods’ however if the calories were calculated they would be far too high than what they should be consuming.
As we all know to lose weight we have to burn more energy than we take in. It is easy enough to understand but why do so many of us have problems with being successful with our healthy eating or weight loss?
There are many many reasons why people fail on a diet plan. Portion control is definately one of them. Some people believe that if they fill their plates with the good food they will still lose weight. Unfortunately calories are calories and if you overconsume energy from what your body needs you will store fat and gain weight.
By understanding what your portion sizes should look like you will have a far greater chance or being successful when dieting or on a diet plan.
Tips to regulate your portion sizes
1. Increase your understanding on the energy density of foods.
Having a base knowledge of foods and knowing what calories are in certain foods will help you make healthier choices and give you an understanding of how much energy is on your plate. Once you understand the energy density of most foods, you can then make accurate decisions with your food choices. You will know what to put on your plate and what not to put on your plate. You will also understand the quantities of each. This will definately help you in selecting the right choices on your diet plan.
2. Choose or buy smaller plates
As silly as this may sound, it is extremely easy to overconsume food when you use a big plate. As we have all been conditioned as kids to ‘clear your plate’ and ‘dont leave any food’ you are far more likely to eat more if you have a bigger plate. Also you may be pleasantly suprised how much you actually don’t need and still feel satisfied.
Take the picture below as an example. Although there is the same amount of food here on both plates, lets be honest how easy would it be to ‘fill up’ the bigger plate? It is natural to think you need more food as the plate looks empty. The calories are still the same but when using a bigger plate it is far easier to put more food on your plate and let your portions get out of control.
3. Read the recommended portion sizes on the food label and note the calories per portion.
By having a brief read of the food labels this will highlight to you the energy density of the portion size you are about to eat. Again after reading labels for a short period of time you will have a far better understanding on the quantities you should be having and what calories/energy is in what. This may also help you make healthier/different choices when selecting what meals to make/buy. Knowledge is the key to making those healthy choices. You don’t have to go to the extreme with counting every calorie and every food label but having a better understanding will definately help you with your eating habits.
4. Use a weighing scales
A fantastic way to understand your portions is to buy a digital kitchen weighing scales. You will only have to use this for a short period of time to understand portion sizes. It will raise your awareness on the quantities of foods. This is exactly what makes calorie controlled food and this is how we produce all of our diet meals and diet plans. We freshly prepare all of the meals and they are weighed out in the correct portions for our customers to ensure they are calorie controlled. Once you have done this for a short while you will have a far better idea of calories and what portion sizes should look like.
Then you can say goodbye to mr weighing scales! You will then be able to accurately estimate your portion sizes without the weighing scales and it will give you the flexibility in wherever you are to make the right judgement as you now know the energy density of the foods and will help you when trying to follow a diet plan. This will really help you over the longer term and highlight the amounts you should be having.
4. Listen to your body
If you are extremely full after having a meal it is probably because you have eat too much and have taken in too much energy. Even if you think you have just had a healthy meal if you do not listen to your body and stop eating when you are full this is also a sign of overeating which will prevent you from losing weight and potentialy make you gain weight. It sounds extremely simple but it is quite easily done to overeat especially if you are enjoying your food and you want to finish your meal. Again this is where it links with our first point with choosing the smaller plate, if its not there you are less likely to eat it!
What we actually need and what we think we need!
You may be surprised what your body actually needs in comparison to what we think we need.
This conditioning is due to a habit/routine that has been created over a period of time. If you have always eat big portions this will be the norm for you and changing this may be quite difficult. You tend to find people who are overweight have family members who may be also overweight. This is down to portion control and what they have been used to eating. Breaking this habit/routine is crucial in developing a healthy lifestyle and to lose weight on any diet plan. Breaking the habit/routine is the hardest part of dieting or losing weight.
Once you replace the big portions for the smaller portions and you break the habit/routine and can stay consistent with your healthy eating this is where you will see great results in your weight loss and overall health. This is where long term weight loss results occur!
So ultimately to have portion control over your food firstly you need to get an understanding of the foods you eat and how many calories they contain. By increasing your knowledge it allows you make healthier food choices.
If you don’t know how to do this read the food labels and then use a digital kitchen scales to weigh out a portion for yourself to work out how much energy it contains. This will most likely shock you. It is extremely easy to put double or triple the recommended portion size into a bowl and demolish it with ease!
Just take a look at these photos below from kate-fit.co.uk and no limit personal training. You can see there is a difference of 116 calories in the photo on the left and how easy is that to do!? Just from being unaware of the calories that almonds contain you can easily consume too much energy without realising!
Also taking the photo on the right look at the portion sizes of 100 calories within nuts. If you didn’t know this and you natuarlly thought that nuts are healthy would you actually pick these portion sizes? I know my answer and that would be definately not and probably choose double the amount shown in the photo!
Like many other foods nuts are extremely healthy and contain good sources of fat, fiber and protein. However, these need to be consumed in the right portion sizes otherwise you could be packing on the weight eating all of the ‘healthy foods’.
It is so easy to make these mistakes and so many people do just because of misunderstanding portion control and the energy density of different foods.
By using the 4 tips above they can really help you eat the right portions and help you lose weight or maintain a healthy eating plan. The greater your understanding on portion control the more likely you will choose healthier choices especially if you are looking to lose weight. Reading food labels and using a digital weighing scales will definately help you achieve this.
If you really struggle with portion control and would like some help this is where we can help you. We offer several different diet plans. They range from 750kcal to 1750kcal. All of our food is freshly prepared and weighed to create your perfect calorie controlled diet plan. It also is extremely convenient if you have a busy lifestyle and need food on the go and haven’t got time to cook. We will do the work for you so you don’t have to! This includes everything including breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. Check out our reviews on TrustPilot & Facebook of what our customers think.
Also we have a discount code for a huge saving of £25 for new customers so they can try our food on the taster plan. At the checkout use the code TASTER25. This will enable you to try our plans/food and to see if we can help you :-).
If portion control is a problem for you if you follow the four steps above and understand what the portion sizes you should be having it will help you get long term results.
Really hope this helps you! Any questions/enquiries feel free to send us an email at [email protected].