33Many of us think we need to starve or overwork ourselves to get results, skip dessert, only eat lettuce leaves and we not allowed to enjoy our food! This is not true, and if anything, this actually makes us put on more weight than we actually lose during this crash dieting. The trick to eating anything…..Portion Control! The principal is that you can eat ALMOST anything but in moderation.

Eat more to weigh less? Yes, this is completely true, many people don’t eat enough food, so what happens is the body gets used to not getting food regularly and instead of the body wanting to burn the energy we consume it decides to store it, just in case it’s another length of time before it gets fed again, a routine like this slows ones metabolism down considerably. What in actual fact we should be doing is eating small regular meals every 3 hours- 3 meals and 2 snacks. The key is to eat foods that will fill you up without eating a large amount of calories. So eating 5 times a day doesn’t mean you’ll pick up weight as long as you sticking to small portions and of the right foods (fruit/vegetables, low GI carbohydrates and overall nutrient dense food), in actual fact, your body’s metabolism will start speeding up and burning off more calories as it’s not afraid of being starved so it uses the calories we eat a lot more freely….leading to weight loss!

The plate model:  This is a great tool to use as a guide to portion control for your cooked meals when you are eating out and even when you are eating in. General principles: ½ plate should be non-starchy vegetables, ¼  plate starch/starchy vegetables (rice, pasta, pap, potatoes, corn, pumpkin, butternut) and ¼ plate lean protein (fish, red meat, chicken, beans). A glass of yoghurt/milk can be had on the side.

General portion sizes: For grains/ starches its ½ cup or 1 slice of bread (6-11 portions per day), 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day (1 portion of vegetables= ½ cup cooked/1 cup uncooked, 1 portion of fruit is a fruit that fits in the palm of your hand) and a portion of protein is about the size of your palm (1-2/day). 2-3 glasses of milk/yoghurt should be had per day.

Tips to control your portion sizes:                                                   

  • NEVER skip a meal, especially breakfast
  • Choose a smaller plate to eat from
  • Never go grocery shopping hungry and always go with a list
  • Avoid second helpings
  • Swop the potatoes/chips for vegetables
  • Avoid sauces and choose light salad dressings/mayo
  • Eat around a table and not in front of the TV, you tend to overeat when you not seeing how much you are eating
  • Choose low GI/High fibre, keeps you fuller for longer, curbs cravings and prevents you from overeating
  • Be aware of large packages, don’t eat everything in a package, rather portion control it before you start eating and put the rest away, or choose smaller portioned packages
  • Avoid keeping chips, sweets and sugary drinks around the house, you’re less likely to crave it if you know it’s not in the house

 Controlling portion size is an old idea but it remains absolutely critical to weight control.

This content was provided by FUTURELIFE®