One of the hardest things I have had to learn on my journey to health has been portion control. There is no easy way around making your portions smaller, you just have to train your stomach over time. I remember when I first moved home after university; I felt hungry all the time as my mum was feeding me much smaller portions that what I had been used to. I hate to think about how big of portions I ate while I was at university!
If you are on a health kick and are trying to lose weight you need to keep an eye on your portions, there is no point eating healthy food if you are eating too large of a portion! Portion distortion is very common thanks to the fact that the average portion size has increased by 25-50% over the past 30 years. In fact the average restaurant portion could feed 2 or 3 people sometimes!
To control my portions I follow recipes exactly. I don’t have much flair in the kitchen, so I have to do this anyways, but tools such as the above help measure out the correct quantities of food. Keeping Measuring Cups* and food Weighing Scales* to hand can really help keep your portions in line, so you can imagine how thankful I was to receive these from Confused.com in a Fitness Goody Box they put together for me. However when you don’t have any to hand, you need to learn to eyeball standard portion sizes. A good way to figure out your portion sizes is to compare your food portions to something visual that is easier to remember, you can see examples of this in the table above.
Other than learning about correct portion sizes there are a number of ways to ensure you keep your overall serving sizes in line. Here are a few tips I have learnt and have heard of;
- Eat from a smaller dish- This is scientifically proven to trick yourself into thinking you are eating a larger portion.
- Divide your plate up into half, fill one half with fruit or veg, the other half should have equal portions of protein and starch. This is the ideal balanced meal!
- Serve food according to the portion sizes and don’t go back for seconds unless its more veg!
- Put away leftovers straight away to stop grazing. Try freezing them into single servings so you can use them for dinners at a later date.
- Never eat directly out of a packet or bag… you will ALWAYS over eat by doing this!
- At restaurants ask for a smaller portion, or a half portion, and if you have the courage order a child's meal.
- When at restaurants analyse your dinner and organise your dinner into the ideal portions and serving sizes as shown above and leave the rest on the side. Servings in restaurants can sometime be enough to feed atleast two people!
- If you have dessert, share it! I know this is tough to hear for people with a sweet tooth like me, but your waistline will thank you!
Do you eat the correct portions? If so how do you ensure you keep your portions sizes in line? Are there any other more fun visual comparisons that you know?