4 Tips for Controlling Portion Sizes
Whether you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, or shift to a healthier lifestyle, portion control hacks can help. The amount of calories we need to function and survive each day depends on our age, weight, and daily activity level, which vary from person to person. When we eat more calories than our body needs, the body takes extra calories and stores them as fat. While portion control may sound restrictive, it’s possible to practice it in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry. Instead of considering certain foods to be off-limits, control your portions through healthier choices that allow you to consume fewer calories but still feel satisfied.
1. Meal Prep
Having a meal plan will help you avoid making hunger-based decisions. Prep components of meals ahead of time, and use small glass containers to mindfully create portion sizes. Veggies should make up about half of your meal, as they provide high amounts of nutrients and fiber that will keep your appetite in check and metabolism high. Proteins such as chicken, fish, or tofu are great options, as well as grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice or whole-grain pasta. Mix and match these ingredients to keep your meals exciting and flavorful!
2. Fill Up On Veggies
Packed with valuable nutrients and fiber, vegetables help you stay full longer. Veggies add volume to your meal and allow you to consume fewer calories for the same amount of food. Replace sandwich bread with lettuce wraps, add a handful of veggies to omelets or soups, or replace some of the protein or starch in your meal with your favorite veggies or varieties you haven’t tried before.
3. Stay Hydrated
Sometimes we eat more because we think we’re hungry, but the truth is, we’re thirsty. Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will naturally aid portion control by reducing your appetite and creating a sense of fullness. Studies have shown that those who drank half a liter of water before each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t drink water before eating. Water satisfies the hunger hormone, so next time you feel hungry, pause to ask yourself if you’re hydrated!
4. Use Your Plate as a Portion Guide
If you put a small amount of food on a large plate, your mind will think you need to consume more. Luckily, the opposite is true for large amounts on small plates. Using smaller plates can trick your mind into thinking you’re enjoying a full meal. Start with the choice of smaller plates or bowls to consume less and reduce your daily calorie intake. It sounds like a simple solution, but mindful intentions can go a long way to help your nutrition journey!