If you’ve been down the weight loss journey for a while, you know that there are a lot of different methods to lose weight. Some are crazy diets or intense exercise routines but what if you don’t have time to take on an intensive exercise lifestyle? What if you have a hard time following strict diets like juice cleanses or cabbage soup diets?
If your weight loss journey has been a long one and you’re tired of feeling hungry because the diet you’re following isn’t allowing you to eat enough, consider rethinking your diet.
Have you heard of portion control? Is it the answer to your dieting needs? Will portion control be the solution that you’ve been looking for? It could be. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of portion control so that you can make an informed decision on making it a part of your life.
What Is It?
As you can imagine, portion control is exactly what it sounds like; it’s all about controlling the portions that you eat to ensure that you aren’t eating more calories than you should. Portion control is about controlling how much you eat and what you’re eating, including the drinks that you may be drinking.
Portion control is key to losing weight as it helps you to burn more calories than you’re eating and that is almost as important as the time that you put in at the gym.
The great thing about the portion control diet is that you’re not starving yourself, living off liquid, or even saying goodbye too good foods. It’s a way of eating what you want while still reaping the benefits of a “diet.”
Portion control can actually work hand in hand with other kinds of diets, whether paleo or keto diets, etc. It’s helpful in helping those who want to lose weight to do just that without harming their bodies. A lot of people who try to eat better end up depriving themselves of the foods that are good for their bodies, so portion control is a good alternative, as it allows you to eat the food you want and need to eat.
How to Do It: Suggested Portion Sizes
So, are you ready to try portion control in your life? It may very well be the way that you finally lose the weight that you’ve wanted to lose. How do you go about portion control? While some people like to “wing it” and simply eat less of a good thing, there is actually some “method to the madness” that will help you to get the nutritional value you need in your meals, as well as the correct balance so that you don’t eat too much of the “wrong” food.
The rule of thumb in portion control is to eat a portion of each food group that you need to eat. Usually, you’ll be allowed to eat between half a fist to a full fist of the foods that you want to eat. If you want to have a clearer understanding of how this works, here are some examples:
- A half fist of vegetables or fruit in one meal is good. Up to 10 servings a day is ideal.
- A full fist of leafy vegetable or salad is good. If you want to eat a whole fruit, make sure that it’s only one. Up to 10 servings a day is ideal.
- Grain is complicated, as you don’t want to eat an abundance of carbs. But, with portion control, it’s still allowed in your diet. The size of your hand can mean that you can eat half of a bagel or a hand full of cereal. You can eat half a fist of rice or pasta in one meal instead. 6 or fewer servings a day of grain products is ideal.
- Milk or dairy should be served at about one fist as a portion of milk or yogurt. Two thumbs of cheese is enough for your meal. More than 3 servings a day of dairy is probably not a good idea for your diet.
- The palm of your hand can be equal to the amount of meat, poultry, or fish that you eat in one sitting. 1 fist of legumes can be your portion of protein for one meal. 1 cupped hand of nuts is allowed in portion control. 2 thumbs of peanut butter can also be eaten in one meal. You don’t need more than 3 servings of protein in a day.
- When it comes to fats, you don’t need more than a thumb-size for each meal. Whether it’s butter on your bagel or oil for your salad, don’t go over a thumb-size serving each meal.
Some very strict portion control diets will have you measuring and weighing your foods to ensure that you don’t go over the amount of food that you’re supposed to eat for gains at the gym or weight loss. The good thing about using your fist or rather hand to follow a portion control diet is that it’s pretty straightforward and easy to do. You don’t have to feel guilty about eating a bit more than what’s allowed, but try to avoid it as much as possible.
Tips For Following A Portion Control Diet
As “user-friendly” as portion control is, that doesn’t mean that it can sometimes be hard to follow it. If you’re the kind of person who has tried multiple diets over the years but always falls back to your old ways of doing things, you may want to put in some safeguards to ensure that you keep up with your diet. Here are some tips to make this happen:
- Measure how much food you’re eating. If you feel like you won’t be able to stick to the idea of using your hand as a measurement for your portions, you may want to actually measure and weigh your food with the proper utensils. If you’re someone who has to go all in when doing something, this can be a good way to ensure that you stick to the portion control diet.
- Keep on top of a food diary. Writing down your food may not sound so exciting, and it actually isn’t but if the simple act of writing down your food consumption helps you to keep track of your eating habits, then so be it. Being honest with yourself about what you’re eating can help you to “keep tabs” on yourself and avoid cheating.
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- Write down your grocery list and don’t “disobey” it. It’s easy to go to a grocery store with an idea of what you want to buy, but once you’re there, it’s even easier to buy just anything that catches your eye. Before you know it, you may have your home full of foods that aren’t going to do anything for your diet.
- Ask a friend or spouse to join you on a diet. If you live with someone and share meals with them, it can be challenging to stick to your portion control. Why not ask your significant other if they’d like to join you? While not always possible, if they’re up to the challenge it can actually be a fun project to do together.
- Drink a lot of water. Water is good for you anyway, but drinking it when you would rather feel like eating something that you shouldn’t is key to staying on your portion control diet. Drinking water before a meal can also help you not to be as hungry or overeat because it allows you to be full faster.
- Wear a belt—only if it goes with your outfit. Wear that favorite belt that you have and while you’re at it, make sure that it’s as tight as it can go. Who wants to eat too much where they have to unbuckle their belt? Of course, only do this if it goes with your outfit. Go ahead and wear those outfits that always make you say, “oh, I can’t wear this for brunch on Sunday because my belly will show.” Start getting that mindset of not eating more than you should. If you’re not overeating, you won’t be getting a bloated belly after lunch with the girlfriends.
- Don’t use the biggest plates in your kitchen. Trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating more than you really are. Instead of putting small, fist-sized portions on the huge plates that you used to eat on, eat your meals on your smaller ones. You’ll soon get used to the reduced amount of food at meals.
- Put your fork down between bites. A lot of people are in a hurry to eat food for whatever reason and scarf it down. Instead of rushing through your meals as if eating wasn’t one important thing keeping you alive, take your time to appreciate the flavors that you’re eating and put your fork down between bites.
- Pay attention to how you’re eating. Take your time. Try new flavors and recipes. Don’t rush through food just to get it over with. If you learn how to make healthy foods in a delicious way, you will find that you’ll become more satisfied with what you’re eating so you don’t have to break your diet with junk food or unhealthy foods or even a bigger portion than you should be eating.
- Make an effort to start loving your greens. Unless you’ve always loved your veggies, learning how to eat good foods may be a challenge at first. Teach yourself to appreciate the different flavors and ways to make your salads and vegetables and other healthy foods. When you learn to love the good foods, it’s easier to stick to your portion control diet.
- Don’t eat your meals in a distracted state. It’s easy to eat quickly and without much attention to your food when you eat in front of a TV or while paying attention to something other than your food. It’s also easy to want to eat junk food while watching your daily show. Learn how to eat your meals without any extra stimulants when it’s time to eat and then when it’s time to watch your shows, learn to watch your shows without any extra food.
- Allow for cheat meals. Some of your favorite goodies and snacks probably won’t be a good idea to eat every day on your portion control diet, but that doesn’t mean that you can never eat them. Why not consider having one cheat day or at least one cheat meal a week where you get to eat what you want to? Be careful about having a cheat day though. Some people choose a cheat day to be a binge eating day, and that’s not what it’s about. That will make going back to portion control that much harder.
- Consider investing in an actual tool designed for measuring your portions. If you have a really hard time measuring your food or knowing how much to serve, there are special tools designed for portion control diets. Why not try one?
- You may want to start using ready-made portion control food boxes by different companies. If you’re a busy person who just doesn’t have the time to take care with your food, but you really want to lose weight and eat portion control, you may want to consider ordering ready-made meals from a company like Yumbox.
Is Portion Control The Way to Go For You?
Are you tired of trying a plethora of diets only to find that you end up feeling really hungry or frustrated? If so, you may discover that the portion control diet is the ideal option for you. It’s not about starving yourself or even taking some of your favorite foods from your diet. It’s a guilt-free diet that is as good for you as it is fun.
The portion control diet is about enjoying your meals and getting the nutrition you need without overeating on foods that are not good for you. It makes eating healthy much easier, so why not give it a try?