Every day, many people struggle hard to control their weight, because nowadays, thanks to the appearance of different types of junk food and lack of information on the part of the media regarding the healthy life that we should lead, a huge amount has been registered of people with obesity, and it is increasingly difficult to avoid it.
Obesity is a growing epidemic, which is contributed by the size of the portions. People tend to eat almost everything that is served, therefore, controlling the size of food portions can help prevent overeating.
Discover how to get your ideal weight through these 7 tricks to measure and control your food rations.
How to control the size of food portions
1.Use a smaller plate
The size of the glasses, plates and spoons can unconsciously influence the amount of food we serve, and at the same time we eat. For example, using large plates makes our food look smaller and, consequently, we tend to feel the need to increase these portions thinking wrongly that we will be satisfied.
In one study, people who used a large bowl ate 77% more pasta than those who used a medium bowl. In another study, nutrition experts served 31% more ice cream when they were given larger bowls and 14.5% more when they were given larger spoons.Interestingly, most were completely unaware of the change in the size of the portions.
In general terms, the simple fact of using smaller plates or glasses can reduce the amount of food or drinks you consume. In addition, people tend to feel equally satisfied if they eat large or small plates, as long as the portion is the same.
2.Use your plate as a portion guide
This is an excellent technique if what you want is to reduce the food you eat. An approximate guide for each meal is the following:
- Vegetables or salad: half a plate.
- Protein s (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, tofu, beans and legumes): dish room.
- Carbohydrates (whole grains and vegetables with starch): dish room.
- Foods high in fat: half a tablespoon (7 grams), including cheese, oils and butter.
Remember that this is an approximate guide, since people have different dietary needs. For example, those who are more physically active require more food.
3.Ask for half a ration when you eat away from home
Generally, restaurants tend to serve large portions, so if you have decided to start with a healthier diet, the best thing you can do is avoid eating in restaurants. But, if the case of wanting to eat or vary a bit, you can ask for half a serving of food or a children’s dish. This will help you avoid calories and overeating.
It is also important to remember that you are taking your food seriously and avoid junk or buffet food, better opt for a salad, which is the most appropriate, and ask for the dressing or sauce separately.
4.Drink a glass of water before you start eating
Drinking a glass of water before eating will make you feel satisfied and, as a result, prevent you from eating more.
In one study in middle-aged adults, drinking 500 ml of water before each meal resulted in a 44% decrease in weight over 12 weeks, probably due to reduced food intake.Similarly, when overweight adults took 500 ml of water 30 minutes before a meal, they consumed 13% fewer calories.
In another study, young men with normal weight drank a similar amount of water immediately before a meal and resulted in a greater feeling of fullness and a lower intake of food.
Therefore, drinking a glass of water before each meal can help prevent overeating and help control portions.
5.Try to eat slowly
Eating fast makes our body feel less satisfied, and consequently we increase the chances of eating more. This is because the brain can take about 20 minutes to record how full you are after eating, so slowing down can reduce your total intake.
A study in women observed that eating slowly led to a greater feeling of fullness and a decrease in food intake compared to eating quickly. Therefore, focusing on your food and not eating hastily increases the chances of enjoying and controlling the size of your portions. In fact, health experts recommend taking small bites and chewing at least 5 or 6 times before swallowing.
6.Avoid eating directly from the container
Foods that are served in large containers encourage overeating and less awareness of proper serving sizes.
People tend to eat more of large packages than small ones, regardless of the taste or quality of the food. For example, in one study, participants ate 129% when served in a large container rather than a small one. In another, participants consumed 180 g less snacks per week when they were given 100-gram packages than when they were given in standard-size packages.
Therefore, instead of eating snacks from the original package, empty them in a small bowl to avoid eating more than you need.
7.Write down all your portions
Research suggests that people are often surprised by the amount of food they bring to their mouths. For example, one study found that 21% of people who ate too much because they had larger serving dishes did not have the perception of having done so. Therefore, note the portions of food and drink you consume can increase your awareness of the type and amount of food you eat daily.
In a study about weight loss, those who kept a food diary tended to lose more weight in general. This probably happened because they realized what they ate, and adjusted their diet
Gaining weight can be due to the bad decisions we make when taking large quantities of food to our mouths. However, there are many tricks you can follow to control portions of food.
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