It is extremely important to understand the concept of Food Portion Control for maintaining a healthy weight and leading a healthy lifestyle. But what does it mean and how does one get into this practice?
Portion Control is nothing but limiting what you eat by being aware of the amount,nutrition and calorific value of the food being consumed. It is applicable to all kinds of food you consume irrespective of whether you are eating healthy or junk (please avoid the later as much as possible). Breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner you need to stay aware of your limits and have controlled portions of food in every meal. Especially for all those struggling with weight loss issues, it is extremely crucial on your part to realise and get into the habit of controlling your food portion.
Let me directly take to you the steps that you can incorporate into your eating habits to get into the practice of food portion control:
- Eat slowly: It is scientifically proven that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you have consumed enough food. Remember that age-old wisdom of chewing your food 32 times, well, this is the logic behind. The slower you eat, the more easily you will sense your hunger satiated. Whereas the fast you hog, the more you are going to end up eating.
- Serve yourself smaller portions: When serving the food on your plate from the cookware, serve smaller portions. You always have the option of taking some more if you are still hungry. What happens in most families (especially in India) is that people serve so much food on the plate that one tends to feel guilty of wasting any food. So you end up eating up the entire plate without realising your portion limits.
- If possible, use portion control dishware: Serve yourself in a smaller plate, bowl or cup. If you are someone who eats excessively, it will actually help you control your portions.
- Stop eating the moment you are full: Yes, I mean it and I want you do that. Do not go on eating, simply out of greed or courtesy. Health comes first, always. Your stomach has it’s specific capacity. Over-eating is definitely going to make you feel bloated.
- Eat consciously: It is very important to practice conscious eating. Talking over the phone, watching television, thinking about your office work and other distractive habits while eating are going to cost a toll on your eating habits. While eating, look at your food, chew properly, savour the taste of every bite and eat with a feeling of gratitude.
- Do not get attracted to “ Buy one get another meal for free” ads of your favorite food joints or get really excited when the restaurant serves you a big platter at a lower cost. Or just because a friend or your office is treating you at a super swanky restaurant, do not over-eat. Remember, ultimately all the calories are entering your system and if not burnt accordingly, will definitely cause havoc to your system.
- Measure oil carefully: When cooking your food, do not simply pour oil into your pan. Be conscious of the amount of the oil you are using. I am not suggesting you to pour really less and make your food taste less. Neither am I suggesting you to deep fry everything. Just stay conscious of the amount and you will know how much is required to be poured.
- Control portions when eating out: When eating outside order for one dish at a time and share it your friends. Ordering too much food at a time not only leads to over-eating but wastage of food and money. If possible order for a salad in the starters. As vegetables contain a large amount of water, it will satiate your hunger more easily.
Remember, every one of us have our individual food portion requirements. The amount that makes me full might be too less / too much for you or vice-versa. The most efficient way to realise our individual portion is by practising conscious eating.Also remember, food is not just fuel. It needs to enjoyed and savoured. It should not be denied or abused. Consume it with a feeling of gratitude.