Keep a check on your portions!
By Nmami Agarwal
Eating right doesn’t need to be complicated as you are simply required to shift to healthier options. And for this, you should emphasize more on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products. Try to include eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts in your diet and minimize the consumption of Trans fats, saturated fats, salt and added sugars.
But hold on it’s not just enough to include all these groups to your diet instead you should be knowing that how much amount of these food groups are sufficient for you to keep you healthy and helps you in maintaining an ideal body weight. So it is very important for you to know that to maintain a healthy weight or how much you are eating is as important as what you are eating. Many of you are not aware that how much food is enough for you, what is the difference between a portion and a serving?
A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat at one time, whether you are at home, in a restaurant or from a packaged product. On the other hand, a serving or a serving size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition label.
Different food products have different serving sizes, which could be measured in terms of cups, grams, pieces, ounces, slices, or number. A serving size mentioned on a food label may be less or more than the amount you should eat, depending on the physiological aspects like your age, weight, whether you are male or female, and your lifestyle. So depending on how much you choose to eat, your portion size may or may not match the serving size.
Tips to manage or check food portions at home– You don’t need to count and measure everything that you eat or drink for the rest of your life. You are just required to do this long enough to learn typical serving and portion sizes that are adequate for you. So try out these ideas that can help you manage portions at home:
- Take one serving according to the food label and eat it off a plate instead of straight out of the pack or bag.
- Avoid eating in front of the TV, while walking or driving, also while you are busy with other activities as you tend to eat more than required.
- Focus on what you are eating, chew your food well, do not rush while chewing, if you don’t chew well you eat more so fully enjoy the taste and smell of your food. So it is important that you should eat slowly so that your brain can get the message that your stomach is full.
- Use smaller bowls, dishes, and glasses so that you eat and drink less.
- Limit the consumption of high-fat, high-calorie foods, such as chips, sauces, desserts and pre-packaged snacks.
- If the food is prepared in large quantity then freeze that leftover food that you won’t serve or eat right away. In this way, you won’t be cajoled to finish the whole food. So freeze the leftovers in single- or family-sized servings, you’ll have ready-made meals for another day.
- Skipping meals or leaving long hours between meals will cause you to overeat later in the day to eat meals at regular times or in the interval of 2-3 hours.
- Buy snacks, such as fruit or single-serving foods that are lower in calories. If you purchase bigger packs or bags of snacks then divide the items into single-serve packs so that you aren’t tempted to overeat.
Tips to manage or check portions when eating out- Although it is easier to manage or check your food portions when you cook and eat at home, most people eat out from time to time while some people eat out often. Try these tips to keep your food portions in check when you are away from home:
- When you order food in a restaurant try to share the meal with a friend so that you don’t end up eating the whole meal alone and avoid second serving.
- Avoid eating buffets as you get tempted to eat more when there are so many options since you want to try each and every item available and fill your whole plate than required
- While eating out order one or two healthy appetizers or side dishes instead of ordering a whole meal. There are various options that you can include in your meal are steamed or grilled—instead of fried—seafood or chicken, a salad with dressing on the side, or roasted vegetables and sauté vegetables.
- If you have a choice then try to pick the small-sized—rather than large-sized—drink, salad, desserts, meals or frozen yoghurt.
- Stop eating and drinking when you’re full as there is no need for binge eating. So put down your fork and glass, and focus on enjoying the company and décor for the rest of the meal.
- Very important point to remember whether you eating at home or eating out, consuming a large glass of clear water before any meal helps you to feel full and making it easier to avoid overeating.
Over to you: Sometimes the challenge with healthy eating is that controlling portion size has become increasingly hard. You can eat the healthiest diet in the world, loaded with fruits, veggies, lean meats, and healthy carbohydrates, but if you’re eating double portions, that scale won’t move as much as you might like. That’s what makes portion control such a must-have part of losing weight and keeping it off.
SAMPLE DIET PLAN
||Soaked nuts (Almonds, 5-6; Walnuts, 2-3), Tea/Coffee
||Oats porridge with fruits (1 bowl)
Vegetable Quinoa bowl (1 bowl)
Jowar medley (1 Quarter plate)
Oats pancakes (1 in no.)
||Fruits + Salted Buttermilk
Fruits + Vegetable Juice
||Spinach Bean burrito wrap
Vegetable Biryani (1 Quarter plate)
3 slice of Pizza + Vegetables + Cooked salad + Raita
||Herbal Tea/Tea/Coffee/Cold coffee (1 cup) + Biscuits (1/2)
Fruit Yoghurt based Smoothie (1 glass)
Oven bakes zucchini chips with mint chutney
||3-4 pcs. Grilled chicken + Vegetables + Salad
3-4 pcs. Paneer tikka + Vegetables + Salad
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