Understanding Portion Control for Effective Weight Management
At GreggWallace.Health we give estimates on portion-size, but these are only an estimate. What might be enough for a 10-stone female, will not be enough for an 18-stone male rugby player. We want to try and educate you to learn when you feel full and when you need to stop eating. Many of us were encouraged to finish our plate as a child and as portion-sizes have increased and plates have got bigger this can have a detrimental effect on our waist size.
When should you stop eating?
Eat mindfully and slowly so that the message between your stomach and your brain has time to filter through. Chew your food thoroughly and put your knife and fork down between bites. Sit at a table to eat. Numerous studies have found that more calories are consumed from those that sit on the sofa or in front of the computer to eat their food. When you eat slowly and mindfully then you should be able to tell when you are full. We never want you to leave the table hungry. This is where so many people go wrong. They feel that in order to lose weight then they need to be hungry all the time. This is not true at all. Fill up on the good stuff so there’s no room for the bad is our motto at GreggWallace.Health
As you start to lose weight then you will need to consume less calories. This is often where people go wrong on a weight loss journey as they still consume the same portion sizes. as at the beginning. So again, try to listen to your body. If your weight has stalled for a while, then look at your portion size. Are you leaving the table uncomfortably full?
Fill up wisely
If you like larger portions, then look at the make-up of your plate. It’s easy to add lower calorie foods to bulk up a portion size. Choose lots of green vegetables to accompany your meal. If you are choosing spaghetti – then could you substitute half the spaghetti for a lower calorie courgetti (spiralised courgettes). If you are having a meat chilli, then could you half the meat content by adding beans and lentils and then serving on a bed of green vegetables rather than rice. Some foods are just impossible to overeat. They are so low in calorie density that you just couldn’t physically eat a big enough quantity to maintain your weight so add these foods to your plate to increase the portion size. Courgette is one of these foods – you could eat a huge amount of courgette a day and still lose weight. The same is true with cucumber, kale, apples and broccoli. In fact, nearly all the non-starchy green vegetables will help you to lose weight. On average, if you eat lots of low-energy density vegetables then you will consume less calories over the course of the day – and therefore lose more weight. Many weight loss diets focus on decreasing portion size, but as you know the eat less approach just leaves you hungry and unsatisfied. So instead of eating less, focus on eating more of the low calorie non-starchy vegetables to increase satiety. With all the GreggWallace.Health meals you could add a side of non-starchy vegetables to help keep the overall portion size large – but less calorific.
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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC