Healthy Eating Tips to Lose Weight and Fight Heart Disease
If you go back a few years and compare portion sizing then with what we now call "normal," you'll see just how distorted our thinking has become!
With the obesity epidemic rapidly becoming more problematic, you would actually think this condition was out of our control. However, the concept of losing weight is pretty easy: if you eat less, you consume fewer calories, and therefore you lose weight!
Most people do know the basics about nutrition, however, it's important to be aware that how much we're eating is just as important as what we eat.
Here are 8 effective, yet simple ways to reduce your food portion size:
#1 Read food labels
- Serving size - indicates the food's suggested serving. But, remember it is your portion size which will determine the actual calories you eat.
- Ingredients list - what is the most predominant item on the list? If you want to limit sugar, for example, stay away from foods having sugar/corn syrup/fructose/sucrose, etc. in the first few ingredients.
- DRVs - can help you make more informed choices about the foods you choose. If you are trying to limit your intake of saturated fat and sodium, for example, opt for foods that have a lower DRV percentage, and try to eat more foods with a higher DRV percentage for vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Check out my previous post, How to be Savvy with Food Labelling.
#2 Fill up with low-cal foods
If large portions are a problem for you, try having a bowl of homemade vegetable soup before your main meal, or fill most of your plate with crunchy vegetables or salad and finish off with an apple, berries, or a slice of watermelon. This way you'll be filling up on low calorie foods.
#3 Use a smaller plate
This may seem like physiological nonsense, however, it really does work and it acts as another way to help control your perception of what a portion is.
#4 Serve yourself
Don't allow others to serve you - they generally dish out far more than required. Also, it's a good idea to serve your meals from the kitchen rather than directly from dishes on the table.
#5 Eat at the table
Eating in front of the TV, or from your kitchen bench or fridge is a sure way to overeat as you are less likely to be conscious of exactly what you're eating, and how much.
#6 The 10-minute rule
If you're contemplating second helpings, wait at least 10 minutes. This will give your stomach time to let your brain know that it's full. If you find that you really are still hungry opt for a second helping of vegetables or salad.
#7 Don't eat from the bag!
This is a classic mistake we make when vegging out. If you eat directly from the package, you simply have no idea just how much you've eaten. Instead try putting a portion of food into a bowl, and then place the package back in the cupboard.
#8 Eat mindfully and with gratitude
We all need to slow down and mealtimes are no different. Before you commence eating, try just sitting to give thanks for your food, perhaps offer a prayer with your family. Remember, gratitude increases happiness!
What are your tips for controlling food portions?
Melanie Thomassian is a dietitian and author of Dietriffic.com, an online resource for credible healthy eating tips for busy people.