Most people end up eating more than they wanted, and all calories add up. Though it might sound very simple, it is very easy to eat or drink more than what you planned to. If you keep on doing this over time, you can make a big mistake that will express in the form of a big weight gain without you even realizing it. So, if you are planning weight loss, what to do? it's time to apply the right serving/portion size, which is usually smaller of you think.
Definitions: 1) Portion: the amount of food you put on your plate; 2) Serving: an exact amount of food.
There is a popular said: "Size matters". Studies have shown that people consistently eat more food when they are offered larger portions. So controlling portions is important when you are trying to lose weight and keep it off forever.
To better handle what you are eating, you could use measuring cups or you could use everyday objects as templates of the appropriate serving sizes. While the first on will be more accurate, the second could probably be better and realistic specially when you are not at home.
What can I do?
While at home:
- Use small dishes.
- Serve food in the right portions.
- Never eat from the bag.
- Keep away platters of food on the table.
- Put away any leftovers in separate controlled portions and freeze the portions you will not eat for a while.
While at restaurants:
- Ask for smaller portions.
- Control your appropriate portion and put the rest aside, and ask for a bag or container right away.
- Share your dessert.
While at the supermarket:
- Choose foods packaged in individual serving sizes. If possible choose mini-sized snacks.
- Read the nutrition labels at the back of each item.
What is the right serving size?
Here is the trick ... Just try to instead of trying to memorize sizes, such as lists of grams portions, ounces, cups, and tablespoons, simply try to compare the serving sizes of foods to things that are familiar to you. For example, one serving size of:
- Fruits: aprox. the size of a tennis ball (~60 cals).
- Vegetables: aprox. the size of a baseball (~25 cals).
- Carbohydrates (rice, pasta, bread, etc): aprox. the size of a hockey puck (~70 cals).
- Meats and fish (proteins): aprox. the size of deck of cards (~110 cals).
- Fats (mayonnaise, butter, etc): aprox. 1 teaspoon (~45 cals).
Tip: the best way to determine the amount of food in a proper serving is to read the Nutrition Facts label and measure it by, for example, fill a measuring cup with the proper-sized portion of food and then empty it onto a plate. This will help you to know how the right serving size looks like.
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