Portion control is important for weight maintenance and even more essential for weight loss. On top of being unaware of the appropriate portion size, many of us tend to ignore our body’s signals of hunger and fullness, until we’ve eaten too much and are overfull. Proper portion control is about knowing the correct measures or serving sizes as per calorie and fat content for different foods and beverages.
So what is a proper portion control, and how can it assist our weight loss efforts? Lasting weight-loss comes from balancing the amount of calories you take in with the amount you burn. When it comes to making sure you stay within your allocated calories while still eating a balanced diet, properly portioning your meals is always key. This doesn’t mean depriving yourself, as more often than not deprivation will backfire. It is ensuring that your meal choices are maximising nutrition with the right foods while keeping calories in check. Once you begin to feel the benefits of eating smaller portions – which include weight loss, better digestion, more energy – you’ll realise portion control can be sustainable as well as satisfying.
Eating healthy (and understanding healthy portion sizes) doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a look at these simple, easy ways to visualise the appropriate portions of common foods:
- 90g cooked lean meat – equal to the size and thickness of your palm, or a deck of cards.
- 150g cooked pasta – equal to size of your fist, or a tennis ball
- 1 serve vegetables – equal to size of your outstretched hands
- 30g cheese – equal to size to the size of a match box, or 4 dice
- 1 teaspoon margarine – equal to 1 dice, or fingertip
If you are aiming to lose weight, weighing and measuring your portions using scales and measuring cups is always best, however these visual representations may help you to be more mindful when confronted with a cheese platter at your next party or BBQ.
Don’t Skip Meals
Eating small, regular meals, is one great way to help control your portion sizes. Eating at regular intervals will help to nourish your body, maintain good blood sugar levels, and help to keep your hunger levels at bay. Eating a healthy snack for morning tea and afternoon tea will help to better control your portions at your main meals.
Meal planning is an essential part of controlling portions. The same is true for home organisation experts, personal growth gurus, and busy Mums on the go. Every last one of them will tell you one of the most important keys to their success is having a plan, and being prepared. It is one of the easiest things you can do to make your life healthier and better in general, but is one of the first things we neglect when life gets busy.
Planning meals helps you manage your time better and makes meal preparation easier. A food diary is a great way to forward plan, and track your intake. This often helps with accountability as well, something that is essential if we are trying to lose weight. If you need a little help working out a healthy meal plan, chat to a Dietitian who can design a plan personalised to you and your health goals.
About the LifeShape Clinic
Over 15 years, the LifeShape Clinic (formerly Wesley LifeShape Clinic) has helped more than 10,000 Australians achieve healthier, happier lives through their award winning weight management programs. The LifeShape program enables the lifestyle and health benefits gained from losing weight, improving your health and gaining a positive mindset.
The clinic’s team of specialist medical professionals support each client by creating a personalised weight loss plan to reach a healthy weight, improve nutrition, exercise and mindset – helping to find balance and break the dieting cycle.
Find out how the clinic can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.