How much you eat of what you eat is an important aspect of healthy nutrition. We live in a world where healthy eating has become the norm of life. We know how important it is to make the right choices in order to eat right. However, eating right does not allow us to eat as much of it as we want.
Eating right will only benefit if we take control of portion sizes. If you are not certain about the right portion size of food, then the chances are you might end up overeating. Some tips can work well to help you learn to figure out how much enough for you is.
Some Myths About Portion Size
Portion size tells a person about the right amount of healthy food enough for him. However, there are some myths about portion size when it comes to unhealthy food. Harmful foods are simply harmful no matter how little or how much you take of them. Here are myths about portion size
1. Smoking One Cigarette Is Safe
Whether you smoke one cigarette or more, you are putting your health at stake. Even little but consistent smoking can lead you to serious health outcomes later in life. Sooner or later, one has to face health problems if he is unable to give it up.
It is a myth that smoking a cigarette per day is safe. However, switching to less harmful substitutes for smoking, such as vaping, can help out. Besides, you can use a tobacco flavourvape with lower nicotine strength. It would taste just like a cigarette but is safer than it.
2. Serving Of Alcohol
It is a general belief that one serving of alcohol won’t harm much. However, it is not possible to avoid overindulgence. Even moderate consumption of alcohol can cause some health issues. Constant use of it has a greater tendency to increase the risk factor of some serious health conditions. Therefore, it is a myth that taking one serving would not bring any harm.
Tips To Maintain And Control Portion Size
Here are some key tips that can guide people to measure and control portion size. Following these tips can help individuals manage balanced eating and avoid overindulgence.
1. Use Small Plates And Serving Spoon
It might sound interesting that the size of plates, serving spoons, bowls, and even glasses can influence the portion size of food that people consume. For example, larger plates cause the portion size to appear smaller, and hence a person might end up eating more than required.
This fact is well supported by the results of numerous studies. However, even nutrition experts might not figure out the right portion size if served with larger plates and larger serving spoons. Thus an effective strategy to keep good control over portion size is to use smaller size plates and spoons.
2. Use Your Plate As Portion Guide
In order to figure out the right portion size of food, you may even use your plate as a portion guide. Like for instance, you might follow simple guidelines when filling up your plate.
- Vegetables: Take as much as half a plate of vegetables
- Complex carbs: Fill up a quarter a plate with complex carbs
- Proteins: Choose to take a quarter a plate of protein sources such as fish, meat, poultry, and eggs.
- High fats: You may look to add half a tablespoon of fat sources such as cheese or butter.
You may even take support from your nutritional expert in order to figure out the right portion size of different kinds of food as per your needs. People who have a more active lifestyle might need more portions of proteins.
3. Use Your Palm As A Guide
You may even make use of your hands in order to figure out the right portion size for you. Using palm as a portion guide allows you to control your portion size as per your body’s needs. Hands usually correspond to the size of the body and thus give a better estimate. Here are some rough guidelines you can follow.
- Vegetables: consider taking fresh vegetables and salads for about the size of the fist of your hand
- Proteins: consider taking fish, meat, and poultry about the size of your palm
- Complex carbs: consider taking complex carb sources for about the size of the fist of your hand
- Fats: Fats should not exceed the thumb size of your hand
The portion size may also vary based on factors such as gender and activity level. Men can easily take double the portion size as compared to women.
4. Drink Water Before Meal
Make it a habit to drink water at least 30 minutes prior to each meal. This is a natural way to control portion size. Drinking water fills up your stomach, and this reduces its capacity. As a result, you are likely to eat less.
Sometimes we are not able to distinguish between hunger and thirst, and with this confusion, we end up eating more than required. Drinking water before meals helps to overcome this problem and keeps us hydrated.
5. Eat Slowly
Eating too quickly often causes overeating. When you eat at a relatively slow pace, you are likely to eat less and get satisfied soon. Experts believe that it takes around 20 min for the brain to register fullness. Many studies have also revealed that people who eat slowly also eat less as compared to those who eat food more quickly.
6. Don’t Eat From Packages
When you eat any food from the package or container, then you are less likely to control the portion size. It is better to take food out from the package and then take it as per the required portion size. The same applies to family meals. Avoid taking foods from packages or containers in order to avoid overeating and get more control over portion size.
There are some useful strategies that allow you to take more hold over the portion size of foods. Controlling portion size is as important as eating healthy. Eating won’t help you stay fit and healthy unless you take food in the right portions.