It sounds so simple; if you want to shed weight, stop eating so much. But controlling your hunger cravings isn’t half as easy as that statement makes it seem.
I Feel The Need…The Need To Feed!
In his book titled Your Food is Fooling You; How Your Brain Is Hijacked by Sugar, Fat and Salt, former FDA commissioner David Kessler states that very powerful neurochemical forces drive people to overeat. Kessler also believes that there are a lot of similarities between the brains of people who abuse drugs and those who abuse food. Knowing what’s driving you to overeat is the first step to changing your eating habits for the better.
Curtailing Food Intake with Portion Control
With that said, there are some simple hacks you can use to ensure that your food cravings go down progressively. Portion control or the art of manipulating the size of a serving to suit your health goal is a brilliant and deceptively simple way to make sure that you are eating less than before. There are a variety of visual and numerical cues that you can use to figure out how many calories a certain food contains and how much you should be eating. Here are some food servings as recommended by USDA:
➢ 1 portion of chicken has 110 calories and is about the size of a deck of cards, or your palm.
➢ 1 portion of pasta contains 70 calories and is the same as a scoop of ice cream.
➢ 1 cup of skimmed milk has 110 calories.
➢ 1 small pancake or waffle looks like a CD and has 64 calories.
➢ ½a cup of cooked carrots or Asparagus has about 25 calories.
➢ 1 ½ounces of hard Cheddar cheese, looks like 2-3 dices and has 110 calories.
How to Watch Those Portions
Now, that you know how to portion your food intake, let’s take a look at how you can use it in practice. Eating behavior and psychologist, Dr. Brian Wanksink says one of the simplest ways to control your weight, without needing to call on your will power is to choose a different plate size or order smaller portions of meals.
For instance, when you are home…
✓ Eat your meal of a salad plate instead of a large dinner plate; this automatically reduces your intake.
✓ You should also stick to the recommended portion sizes and when there are leftovers; put them in the fridge pre-portioned out, instead in a large box.
✓ Similarly, don’t keep food platters on the dinner table, as this often causes you to take occasional small servings off of it, increasing your overall consumption.
When you are in the supermarket…
✓ Look for food items that are packaged in single serve bags/boxes rather than multiple servings.
✓ Choosing snacks for perceived situations is one of the ways people end up buying things they don’t really need, so make sure you’re only buying what you need.
✓ Order half a plate or smaller portions instead of full ones.
✓ As your food arrives, try and remember what your appropriate portion should look like and have the rest packed up, ready for your refrigerator.
These simple portion control strategies will help you to overcome overeating and get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
You can also use our weight loss program that relies on time-tested methods to help you lose weight, and keep it off!
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