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Portion Control: Eat What You Want and Still Lose Weight
Posted: Saturday June 4, 2011
By Mike Bunata
When it comes to food, America has become the land of plenty. Portion sizes in restaurants are out of control, and "All-You-Can-Eat" buffets are everywhere. It can be hard to determine what correct portion sizes are when restaurants and fast food places are both constantly trying to one-up each other by serving you the most amount of food they can. With so much food being thrown at you when you eat out, you tend to get used to portion sizes that are larger than you really should be eating for optimum health. When many people look over the USDA guidelines for serving sizes, they are often surprised by how small each serving is.
Eating smaller portion sizes can help you lose weight while still allowing you to eat the foods you love. It doesn't matter what's on your plate; if you eat less of it, you eat less calories. You can even get away with eating rich desserts like fudge and chocolate silk pie as long as you eat less of it. Although such food choices aren't the best health-wise, you can minimize their effects on your diet and your weight loss by minimizing the amount you eat.
Smaller portion sizes can take some getting used to, but there are some ways you can make the transition easier. One way is to serve your food on smaller plates. Downsizing your plate is a good way to make smaller servings appear larger. Resist the urge to go back for seconds and fill up your plate again if you are using this method. If you usually serve family style home meals, where the food is kept in large bowls on the table and family members fill their own plates from the bowls, consider switching to where you keep the bowls of food on the kitchen counter so that you will have to get up to get seconds; doing so will reduce the temptation to overeat.
Save any leftover food to eat later, even if it's just later on in the day. Eating multiple times a day can help keep your blood sugar level and reduce the urge to binge eat. If you can't resist the sight of a large plate heaping with food, try filling half your plate full of low-calorie options, such as vegetables. Vegetables are a great way of making your food look bigger while contributing a low amount of calories; as an added bonus, vegetables are full of fiber which will help you feel fuller after a meal.
When you're at a restaurant, only eat half of your entree, and don't order any appetizers. Most appetizers are fried foods, which are full of fat and have a lot of calories, so it's good to avoid them in general. You shouldn't feel the need to clean your plate at restaurants. By eating only half your entree and saving the rest for later, you can turn the price of one dinner at a restaurant into a dinner and lunch the next day, which helps to save money. If you'd rather not take any food home, consider splitting your entree between two people. This also helps to save money and you'll eat less calories as a result and be able to reach your weight loss goals.