Portion control is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet especially when it comes to weight loss. It can be that we eat too much of a good thing. Whilst it’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet made up of whole foods, it can be possible to overeat on these foods which can hamper any weight loss or weight management goals.
Want to have a good time…. but are also conscious of looking your best?
Here are my Top 10 tips to help you to control your portion sizes and appetite
1. Have a large glass of water 30 minutes before mealtimes. Also, drink plenty of water each day as it can be easy to confuse hunger with thirst (1)
2. Use smaller plates. It can be all too tempting to use beautiful plates but they can often be too large making it all to easy to overload and eat too much
3. When you have served your food, put any leftovers in containers immediately (for future meals) so that you are not tempted to have seconds
4. Don't leave serving dishes of food on the table as you are more likely to "pick" at them or have a second serving without realising it
5. Think meal plate. Fill half your plate with vegetables as they add nutrition to your meal but are low in calories, as well as being high in fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar and helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer (2)
The rest of your meal plate ¼ = protein (palm sized portion)
¼ = complex carbohydrates (closed fist full) with a tablespoon of fat
6. Make sure you eat protein at every meal (palm sized portion) as protein will fill you up and keep you satisfied until your next meal (3)
7. Eat breakfast and never skip meals. Skipping breakfast will make you feel really hungry later on, and may lead you to snack on unhealthy foods. A protein rich breakfast (such as eggs, nuts and seeds, whole fat Greek yoghurt) will make you feel fuller for longer, therefore keeping hunger at bay and balancing your blood sugar levels. Research shows that people who eat breakfast tend to have more appetite control and therefore a more balanced diet overall (4)
8. Avoid sugar, as it will make you crave more. Try dark chocolate, it can help to reduce sugar cravings
9. Snack wisely - choose protein based snacks that will fill you up so that you will be less hungry at mealtimes which can prevent overeating. But, be careful, nuts are one of those health foods that many people regularly overeat. So, portion them out carefully!
10. Eat mindfully - it can take your body up to 20 minutes to register that you have had enough to eat. Many people who eat quickly often eat more because they haven’t given the stomach a chance to send a message to the brain that they are full. Eating slowly means that you stop eating when you are full so, take your time and stop eating when you feel satisfied or comfortably full (5)
Remember, it’s all about balance. Food is there to be enjoyed, and it’s important that you allow yourself occasional treats.
Finally, have a wonderful Christmas time and enjoy yourself!