To truly reap the benefits of a healthy diet, focusing on how much you are consuming is quite important. While most of us simply note what goes inside our body, it is essential to keep a check on how much are we munching up. Summed below are a few points that will help you understand the importance of the volume of food that you consume and how you can easily monitor your intake.
Serving vs. Portion
Usually, people who start noting their eating habits often confuse serving as portion concluding that both serve the same amount of nutrition required by the body. Contrary to the misconception, a portion is the volume of food that you consume of any food serving in a restaurant, from a package or home cooked food. And since there are different ways to measure culinary products, such as grams, ounces, cups, pieces or numbers, serving is the food info listed on the Nutrition Facts section of the product. The serving can be more or less than the portion that you should consume depending upon your age and weight.
Sticking To Your Portions
To stick to your portions, you need to figure out how much amount of food do you really need. Following a serving suggestion on a food container may often be misleading making you consume less or more calories than you need.
Therefore, if you aim for healthy weight management, you must be watchful of the amount of food that you consume. The few factors that you first need to consider are your age, gender, weight, metabolism and the level of physical activity that you engage in. For instance, a man weighing 200 pounds who daily engages in an intense workout regime may need a bigger food portion. On the other hand, a man weighing 180 pounds who seldom goes for a short walk, may require a lesser amount of food.
Keeping Track Of What You Eat
The easiest way to keep a check on your food intake is to read the food labels carefully. Though the serving size may be quite different from the portion that you require, labels can make you understand your dietary needs within that serving. Most of the food labels come with calorie count and mention the amount of sodium, protein, the saturated and trans fat present in your product.
Focus On Your Eating Habits
While you might be able to control your calorie intake by reading the food labels, you need to keep a check on what, when and how much you consume at any meal. To simplify your intake tracking process, create a food tracker on your mobile phone, laptop or your notebook so that you can assess how much amount of food you have consumed and how much you need more. You can also download apps to make your food tracking process easier.
Measuring Food Ingredients
Make a habit of measuring every food item that you include in your portion control diet to keep your weight goals attainable. Invest in a scale or a measuring cup to weigh food and correctly assess your intake. Healthy oils are essential for the body but excessive oils can lead to weight gain. Therefore, while opting for a weight control diet, measure the amount of oil that you add in your food. Try adding more fruits and vegetables by cutting down on fried foods.
Serve In Small Dishware
According to a study, people using a large bowl ate 77% more pasta than those using a medium-sized bowl. In another study, nutritional experts served themselves 31% more ice cream when given larger bowls and 14.5% more when provided with larger serving spoons. Serving your food in small dishware will keep you away from overeating allowing you to follow your portion control diet. This can be helpful especially in events like family gatherings where people tend to overeat.
Check Portion Control When Dining Out
Restaurants are known for serving small portions. However, a restaurant serving sizes are, on average, about 2.5 times larger than standard serving sizes and up to a huge eight times larger than what we eat at home. You can solve this by sharing your meal with the people you dine out with. Or you can order more veggies so you can fill your stomach with healthy stuff.
The above-mentioned steps can be helpful to control portions. These simple changes have proven successful in decreasing portions without compromising on taste or your overall health. Portion control is a quick fix and effective that improves your quality of life and may prevent binging.