New types of diets pop up all the time.
Most of them do work, but the question is: how do you make them work for yourself?
To be in a healthy weight, you need to watch the amount of food that you consume daily. This involves the portion sizes of your every meal.
Generally, to lose weight, you need to burn more than you consume.
In this article, you’ll learn how to do portion control to help you shed some pounds.
Can you lose weight through portion control?
Yes, you can.
Now, let’s find out how portion control can help you achieve your health goals from our guide below!
What is portion control?
The concept of doing portion control for weight loss is to moderate each serving of your meals and to consume the right amount of food recommended for your height and weight.
Before you begin, make sure that you know what your BMR is. BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest, and it is dependent on your height, weight, and gender.
Try this BMR calculator to find out how much you need to be consuming each day to maintain your weight.
But if your goal is to lose weight, then you need to consume less than your BMR.
Why do portion control for weight loss?
Firstly, trying to lose weight requires you to do some preparation and be disciplined. By establishing good habits, you will be more accustomed to what your body only needs.
Portion sizes contribute to eating more, which then leads to unwanted weight gain.
Doing portion control enables you to manage what goes into your body.
How to calculate portion sizes
There is no right or wrong amount for everyone. However, the proper portion size is the one that fuels your body with nutrients and energy that you feel satisfied for the day.
But if you are aiming to lose weight, the key is to consume fewer calories than your body uses.
We just finished with the basics of portion control. Now, let’s get some ideas on how to do portion control the right way!
We’ve listed relatively easy tips on how to lose weight by doing portion control the right way.
Invest in a food scale
To keep your serving sizes in check, investing in an electric or digital food scale is an excellent idea.
Portioning out your food through measuring cups and spoons is one way, but using a food scale can help you learn more about correct serving sizes.
It entirely depends on your weight loss style. If you want to accurately measure how much food you are going to take in, then buying a food scale is for you.
Even if you stop using food scales for a while, you have a good grasp on how much a handful of nuts contain in terms of calories and nutritional value.
Count the condiments and spices
Did you know that a tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 45 calories? And that adds up to your overall daily intake.
Sometimes, a tablespoon of peanut butter is not enough, so you scoop another one.
While condiments may seem harmless, doubling your intake can affect your weight loss journey.
Start with vegetable soup or salad
More significant portions contain higher calories. However, a large serving of vegetable salad isn’t calorie-heavy.
Before eating your main course, start with a salad to fill up your belly so you will consume less of the higher calorie foods.
Drink water every meal
In doing portion control, try not to drink your calories.
Instead, treat water as the better and the healthier option.
Drinking water before a meal fills up your stomach, which will prevent you from overeating.
Water is also always better than drinking soda and sugary drinks. Plus, cutting out unhealthy beverages means your cutting out unnecessary calories.
Use smaller food dishes (plates, bowls, fork)
The size of your utensils does affect how much you eat.
There has been a study where they found out that being given a bigger bowl, nutrition experts served themselves 31% more.
Having a big plate means you may fill it up with more food, hence, more calories.
If you use a small bowl or even a spoon and fork, you can harness the power of illusion and use and “trick” your brain into eating less.
Practice mindful eating
Distractions always happen while eating. You watch TV, play some YouTube videos, or chat with your friends online.
These distractions may be the culprit in you not being aware of how much food you are consuming.
Distracted eating tends to make you eat more throughout the day. So make sure to turn off the TV or eat away from your work desk.
Being mindful, not just during a meal, but also throughout the day, can help you distinguish the difference between “real hunger” or “emotional hunger.” The latter seems to happen in times we are bored, angry, or happy.
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to practice your will power to ignore these emotional eating tendencies.
Do meal prepping
Meal prep just means preparing your food in advance.
Some people cook their meals on a Sunday, while others prepare food daily.
If you have time to do meal prepping, then portioning your every meal will be a lot easier.
You can cook a batch of vegetables for lunch, add in your favorite lean meat recipes, and toss fruits on the side for snacks for dinner.
This way, you know that your foods have almost the same portion sizes, and you have better control of your weekly or daily lunches.
Keep your meal balanced
Try to focus on keeping a healthy and balanced meal daily.
Protein’s filling properties help you feel full longer so you won’t snack when you’re bored.
Fiber helps you feel fuller and keeps your health in check by feeding your gut with healthy bacteria.
Vegetables are the perfect partner for your main course. It’s high in water and fiber while still being on the low end in terms of calorie count.
Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables and the other half with lean meat and other alternatives like tofu and legumes. Toss in a little bit of food with carbs such as pasta, rice, or bread.
This way, you are still keeping the right portions without sacrificing other nutrients for your body.
Don’t restrict yourself too much
Restricting yourself may lead to a binge, which might break you out of your new lifestyle, and eventually, you may find yourself falling into your old habits.
Also, cutting out food and trying out new eating habits may affect your mood, which makes your body crave carbs. While carbs are okay, they aren’t the food that can last you with no eating for longer hours than protein or fat.
If you haven’t eaten ice cream for a long time, then it can be okay to eat a few tablespoons.
Portion the whole gallon so you can eat it for a week, for example.
You can always reward yourself with treats that aren’t heavy in calories from time to time.
Be extra mindful of these foods
Take some time and think twice about consuming these foods. If you don’t have a food scale, it’s also best to learn what these foods’ serving sizes, nutritional labels, and ingredient lists are.
Cereal – Cereals are the go-to breakfast most of the time. But aside from partnering it up with milk, you might just go for seconds for this because they taste delicious.
However, for most cereals, one cup is the recommended serving size.
Avocado – This fruit is healthy, delicious, and a perfect partner for most recipes. But, keep in mind that one medium avocado contains roughly 250 calories.
Salad dressing – Salad dressings like thousand islands contain about 70 calories per tablespoon. Because we use it to dress what should be the healthy food on our menu (salad), it’s hard to recognize that we might be consuming more than we think we do.
Fruit smoothies – Try to keep it light on the milk and cream. Fruit smoothies may be healthy in general, but the adding of sugar and other ingredients might be the opposite.
Oil – It contains a lot of fat that we don’t usually measure when cooking. A tablespoon of oil contains 119 calories per tablespoon. If you are cooking something fried, the amount of oil that you use can affect your diet.
These are just a few foods that you need to be wary of. Check out this post for more foods that contain high calories that we might miss out on.
Eat or cook at home
While it’s convenient having our meals prepared and delivered by our favorite restaurants, it’s not always the healthier choice.
When we cook at home, we don’t just portion control our meals but also the ingredients we use.
It may seem pretty easy to follow, but starting a weight loss journey always comes with sacrifices. However, these sacrifices don’t have to be restricted.
Losing weight isn’t an overnight thing. It can take years to be indeed “in” on the lifestyle change.
Significant dramatic changes aren’t the main contributors; it’s the little changes we do to our body that makes a more substantial impact on our health in the long run.
Weight is a complicated subject, and all these tips we’ve written won’t work for everyone.
Often, people need to do more than just portion control.
Good luck with your new weight loss journey!