Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

7 Tips for Controlling Portion Sizes

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Diet & Nutrition /

portion controlIf you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, portion control is an important aspect of your diet. However, it’s not always easy to reduce or limit the amount you eat. Here are some tips that will help you stay in control of your portion sizes and avoid over-eating.

1) Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is not only essential for the healthy functioning of the body, but also helps you eat less. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger and staying hydrated means you’ll avoid making that mistake and eating extra unnecessarily. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water or other fluids each day, and drink plenty of water before each meal.

2) Don’t Skip Meals

If you skip one meal, you’re more likely to over-eat for the next one. Allowing yourself to become extra hungry only leads to extra-large portions. You need to eat a minimum of three meals a day. Eating smaller meals regularly is the best way to give your body the nutrients it needs without consuming too many calories.

3) Have a Liquid Appetiser

Having a little soup before you delve into your meal makes you become fuller faster, reducing your overall calorie intake. Choose a veggie-filled broth-based soup which will give you a good dose of important vitamins and minerals.

4) Use the Right Kind of Plate

Studies have confirmed what your common sense will already tell you – larger plates encourage you to eat more. Serving your food on smaller plates is one of the best ways to avoid serving too much. Some research also indicates that people eat less when there is more colour-contrast between the food and the plate it’s on, so try to avoid using plates that are a similar colour to the foods being served on them.

5) Focus on Veg

Vegetables should preferably form the bulk of your meal rather than being a small side. Bulking up your meal with veg is a great way to cut calories while filling up fast.

6) Limit Mealtime Distractions

Research shows that people eat more when they’re paying less attention to what they’re consuming. Watching television or using a computer while eating are two of the most common mealtime distractions which can encourage overeating without you even realising. Try to take a break from those activities when it comes to meal times.

7) Don’t Eat from the Packet

Snacking too much can easily lead to you consume too many calories, so it’s important to make an effort to keep snacks small. Whether you’re snacking on crisps, pretzels or nuts, you should avoid eating from the packet as it makes you much more likely to over-indulge. Stay in control of your snack portions by separating small amounts of your snack food into a separate container so you can limit yourself to eating just that amount.

Portion control doesn’t mean you have to eat tiny amounts of everything – it just means ensuring that you stick to healthy amounts and portion sizes. Following these tips will help you eat fewer calories, which may help with weight loss, without leaving you hungry and unsatisfied.

To see a diagram illustrating portion sizes, you can click on the Related Post at the foot of this page.

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Posted by The Best of Health

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