The easiest way to lose weight is to watch what you eat – simple concept, right? After all, abs are made in the kitchen, so regardless of how much you work out, you still need to have a bit of portion control in order to make sure you’re not eating your way out of progress. But how do we do that?
Portion Control Tips
Here are some portion control tips and tricks to help you manage what and how much you eat:
1. Think Out Of The Box… And Into The Tupperware
The most common situation in which we overeat is when we just dig into food, thinking that we’ll stop when we’re no longer hungry.
While in theory this concept is not wrong, the truth is that without portion control you can’t tell when you’ve had enough until it’s too late. This is because it takes your body up to 20 minutes to process the fact that you’ve had enough to eat and you are full.
And in those 20 minutes you might feel a bit hungry still, but that’s only because the stomach has not yet had a chance to digest what you’ve already eaten, and to send the information to the brain that you’ve had enough.
A simple way to prevent this is to store your food in Tupperware boxes that are the perfect size for one meal. Do this wisely, with your caloric goal in mind if you have one, and stick to that portion.
Trust your body, and know that after you’ve eaten it takes 20 minutes to start feeling satisfied.
2. Welcome Salad In Your Life
When you start your meal feeling really hungry, it can be difficult to stop after you’ve had what is considered “enough food”. That’s because of the reason we talked about before – it takes 20 minutes for the feeling of satiety to reach the brain.
So use this easy portion control trick when you’re eating out and don’t have your Tupperware there to stop you: before each meal, as an appetizer, have a salad.
A salad is very low in calories, it keeps you busy so you don’t end up munching on peanuts out of boredom or hunger, and it starts the timer on those 20 minutes.
So when you start your actual lunch, your stomach is already sending your brain signals about how it’s been getting something to eat for the past 10 minutes.
3. Portion Control For Snacks
If you’re snacking out of boredom, or while you’re watching TV, the last thing on your mind will be portion control. However, this is important even when you’re not focused on it (we don’t want to be obsessing over food now, do we?).
An easy trick to get your portion control in check with snacks is to put them in small bowls. That way, when you’re done eating one, you will have to make the “effort” of getting up and re-filling.
With each refill you become aware of how much you are eating – and this awareness can help. Portion control makes managing your daily intake less stressful, and you are less prone to making errors like this.
What are your tips and tricks for portion control? If you have a favorite way of making sure you don’t eat too much, share it with us in the comments below.
Portion Control Cheat Sheets
Here is a cheat sheet from Prevention.com to help you with portion control:
You can also control how much you’re eating with the help of your hand. Here is how to measure a portion of different foods with your bare hands: