Wondering how to lose weight? One of the keys to successful weight loss is your diet. While what you eat is crucial, how much you eat is also an important factor to help you shed the excess kilos. Most of us believe that eating healthy is enough, however, the fact is that your food portions are equally important. This is especially true if you’re on a diet that uses some cheat foods to work your metabolism better, such as the diet that recommends eating chocolate cake for breakfast. Common examples of foods that people tend to overeat thinking they are “healthy” are dark chocolate, frozen yogurts, baked chips – all of these are ‘diet snacks’ as they are considered healthier versions of plain chocolate, ice-cream, and fried chips respectively. But when consumed in excess, your caloric intake increases, thus rendering the entire exercise of eating diet food pointless.
Our first recommendation to patients who want to know how to lose weight is to pay attention to portions. In our supersized world, India has also fallen prey to the fad of large portion sizes. When you eat away from home, it is a natural tendency to not pay attention to how much you eat and how much you actually need. Every restaurant offers generous bread baskets, accompaniments like sauces and dips, creamy salad dressings, etc – these changes in the portions size not only add extra calories to one’s diet but they also result in additional sodium and fat intake. While it is understood that homecooked meals are always better for weight loss, it is also impossible to completely give up eating outside — considering your schedule, work requirements, and social life. So then how do you work on your weight loss goals and get fitter? The answer lies in portion control.
How to lose weight through portion control
No matter where you are, you can always control the portion of food on your plate (even if the serving on the table is large). This is an important and an empowering difference to understand. You do not have to use up the big bowl of flavored butter served with the 14 kinds of bread – you can eat one small dinner roll or a couple of soup sticks and ask for olive oil to dip them into. You don’t necessarily have to finish all the appetizers that are served as free-foods and are re-filled every time. You can politely ask them to stop serving these snacks and wait for the main course. You can decide what is on your plate and if it should be there at all.
Even when you are at home, start paying attention to how much you and your family members need to eat to feel just about full. Never leave the table feeling overfull or weighed down by your meal.
Tips for how to lose weight by controlling your food portions
Keep in mind to observe and maintain normal portion sizes if you want to achieve your weight loss goals. Eat only as much as you need to and be sure to pay attention to food while you are eating it. If you want to know how to lose weight by keeping a tab on the quantity of food you consume, here are some tips that will help you do just that:
1. Take second helpings only if absolutely needed
Serving yourself the right portions is crucial, of course. When you’re serving, ask yourself honestly if your portion is too much or too little. Take a second helping only if you think you absolutely haven’t had your fill. Over time, you should be able to judge portion sizes correctly and you won’t need a second helping.
2. Learn the importance of smaller servings
This won’t just prevent food from getting waster but it will also help you understand your appetite. If you have children inculcate this habit right from the beginning so they too get a sense of how much they really want to eat and what constitute as overeating.
3. Skip the appetisers
Sometimes you cannot skip that occasional dining out. At such times, start your meals with a salad or directly go to the main course instead of filling yourself up with appetisers.
4. Don’t eat directly from the pack
When you’re ordering in, serve yourself on a small plate instead of directly eating from the pack itself. Not only will it help you measure your meals, it will also make you aware of exactly how much you’re eating.
5. Stock up on healthy snacks
Getting rid of unhealthy/fried snacks is the first step to losing weight and controlling portions. Instead of chips and chocolates, stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and hung curd dips with herbs. That being said, overeating healthy snacks isn’t a great idea either.
6. Do not eat while watching TV
You’ve been told this (and actually all of the other things listed here) earlier. But let us spell it out for you: When you’re watching TV while eating, your attention is divided and when you are not paying attention to your food, it is harder to control how much you eat. While watching a movie, share your popcorn and avoid aerated drinks. And yes, those free refill tubs, bottomless aerated drinks sound great in theory but end up causing irreparable damage to your diet and weight-loss plans
7. Track your calories
This is perhaps the simplest thing to do. The moment you start tracking your calories, the more aware you will be of how much you eat. This will also help you track the progress of your weight-loss plan better.