What’s the Secret to Maintaining a Healthy Weight?
One of the biggest contributing factors to the significant rise in obesity and obesity-related health problems among Americans is increasing portion sizes. Americans are simply eating more food on average. However, you don’t need to take extreme measures like fasting or a crash diet to lose weight. In fact, extreme weight loss measures often don’t work very well. Plus, you can end up hurting your health and wellness by depriving your body of the important nutrients that it needs to stay healthy and strong. Instead, the secret to weight loss, as well as maintaining a healthy weight is practicing good portion control.
Don’t Overestimate Serving Sizes
Unfortunately, since most people tend to overestimate serving sizes when cooking and eating, it can make portion control tough. For instance, the average adult should consume between 1,800 to 2,500 calories each day. However, when you overestimate serving sizes, you can end up consuming many more calories than you should be eating. That’s why when you are cooking and/or eating a meal, it’s important to know the correct serving sizes for each food group. Probably the easiest way to check portion sizes is by looking them up online. There are also dietary apps that can tell you the correct serving sizes for each meal. Also, prepackaged foods are supposed to include the amount per serving on their dietary labels.
Use Smaller Dinnerware
Your dinnerware can also influence the amount of food you eat at meals. For example, eating off of a bigger plate makes it tempting to eat more food – and harder to maintain a healthy weight. Therefore, you can remove that extra temptation to overeat by using smaller plates. Just have enough self-control to keep yourself from going back for more food to practice good portion control.
Use Your Plate as a Portion Guide
Speaking of dinner plates, you can use your dinnerware as a portion guide for each food group that you are (or should be) eating:
• 25 percent of your plate should contain protein.
• 25 percent of your plate should have carbohydrates.
• 50 percent of your plate should contain fruits and vegetables.
You can find other examples of portion control guides that use dinnerware online.
Order Smaller Portions at Restaurants
The battle to maintain a healthy weight really heats up when you go out to eat. That’s because it’s easy for people to consume more calories than they should at restaurants. Furthermore, a lot of people have trouble leaving food on their plate – especially if they paid for the meal. However, most restaurants give customers the option of ordering smaller portion sizes – like half a meal. For instance, their menu might offer a half sandwich or a half serving of their other entrees. In addition to saving calories, you will also save some money!
Drink Water Before and During Meals
Another good portion control tip is to drink water before a meal, as well as while you are eating. The water in your stomach will make you feel more full – and less likely to want to eat as much. Furthermore, drinking water with your meals is a lot healthier than drinking sugary drinks like soda and sweet tea.
Track Your Calories
Finally, practicing good portion control is about doing a good job of tracking how many calories you are consuming throughout the day to avoid overeating. For instance, you could keep a food journal or use a calorie counter app to record the number of calories that you are eating. That way, you will know whether you are consuming the correct amount of calories – which is key to maintaining a healthy weight.
In short, practicing good portion control to help you maintain your weight takes a lot of effort and self-control. That’s because it’s very easy to overeat and gain weight. Make sure that you are consuming the correct serving sizes at each meal to limit the number of calories that you eat. In addition to portion control, exercising on a regular basis can help you maintain a healthy weight.