Food has such a big impact on your well-being, not just your physical shape and what the scale says. It impacts your mood, your stamina, your outlook, all of which affect the people you love.
Eating healthy doesn’t always mean giving up your favorite foods. Can you have treats and maintain your weight? Yes! Can you eat favorite meals and maintain your well-being? Yes! You just need to choose what you eat wisely and in proper portions.
Don’t give up your favorite foods; just enjoy them in moderation!
You don’t have to break out those clusters of measuring cups and spoons. Proper portion control can be maintained using your own two hands! Here are some measuring techniques to help you better visualize the right portions for snacks and meals.
- Make a fist and look at it. You’re looking at the proper serving size for a fruit or vegetable serving.
- Open your fist, with your fingers curled and facing upward. That cupped hand equals the proper portion size for a snack of nuts, pretzels or, occasionally, chips.
- Spread your hand and measure only your palm. That’s about the right portion for your meat, poultry, or fish.
- Passionate about your pasta? A healthy portion is about 1 cup, cooked, which averages out to the size of a single ice cream scoop. (Bonus Tip: Try to stick to wheat rather than white pasta.)
Compare all these servings to what you usually consume in one meal. How are your “normal” portions stacking up? If your usual portions are a lot larger, you can bet those calories are stacking up, too. Make sure you’ve got the proper exercise regimen in place to help you burn off those excess calories while you adjust to these portion control practices.
Be Portion Empowered
Using your hands is the easiest and most convenient way to measure your portions, but there are also some other techniques you can put into practice to help you master proper portion control.
- Use a small dinner plate when eating at home. Healthy portion sizes will fill it quickly and you won’t feel deprived.
- Commit to not having seconds. Take your time enjoying the food that’s in front of you and savor it. Enjoy any conversation that might occur and pause often to contribute to it, or just listen. A large serving of conversation with family and friends can contribute greatly to your well-being.
- When eating at a restaurant, place your order and ask that a to-go container be brought out with your meal. Eat half there, and save half for your meal the next day. The sooner it is tucked away and out of sight, the easier it will be to commit to eating a proper portion.
- Choose fresh foods as often as possible. This is a great way to avoid preservatives and other chemicals often found in processed and packaged foods.
When managing portion control, always choose patience over convenience. This may mean that you need to wait until you can measure your own portions according to visual measurements or that you need to wait to sit down to eat. The bonus? No regrets later from eating unhealthy portions of pre-packaged, processed foods.
For more information on improving your nutrition habits, contact Cause and Effects Fitness today and schedule your free consultation with Coach Chelsea, our nutrition specialist. And don’t forget—the best results come from combining healthy eating with regular exercise!