42.4% of all Americans are obese, according to the CDC. While the problem affects everyone (considering 18.5% of children in the U.S. are obese), individuals aged 40 years and above are the worst hit.
Obesity statistics globally may be lower than in the U.S. at 13%. However, this is still a shocking statistic given the effects of obesity ranging from heart disease to stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and death in severe cases.
With many people struggling with weight loss worldwide, there is an effective but commonly overlooked solution - learning how to control portions.
Control Portions And Take Charge Of Your Weight
Progress made while exercising can be easily erased by overeating. In fact, you can reach your weight loss goals fast and easily just by controlling the amount of food you eat. Research shows that many factors influence overeating, with portion control being an effective way to prevent overeating.
How do you manage food portions minus the stresses of calorie counting, food measuring, and other related problems? Below are useful tips on how to control portions.
Learn How To Control Portions
Individuals can do four simple things to help control portions and eliminate overeating and unnecessary calories. Controlling portion sizes is one of the most effective things you can do to help individuals achieve their weight loss goals. If you are unfamiliar with portion control, check out the article: Understand Portion Control And Simplify Achieving Your Weight Goal
1. Invest In A Portion Control Plate
According to research, a healthy plate should be made up of 50% vegetables and fruits, 25% protein, and the rest (25%) should be carbohydrates. While most people know this, it is usually a daunting task to serve food this way when using a typical plate. The "naked" eye can't be relied upon to ensure you serve the right portions.
That's where the portion control plate comes in! Using the portion control plate can help you easily learn how to control portions. Dieting can be tricky if you don't know exactly how much food you should eat. What's more, weighing and measuring everything you eat can be impractical and make weight loss a miserable journey for many.
If you are tired of overeating, measuring everything you eat, and losing progress with your weight loss goals, invest in Portion Masters' adjustable portion control plate. The plate has adjustable pre-set portions for every food group to match individual weight loss goals. Controlling portions is as simple as selecting your ideal weight, filling in portions, and enjoying your meals without counting calories and overeating.
Use the plate for three meals daily without tracking everything you eat or being confused about portions. Portion control plates are perfect for individuals trying to lose weight and those interested in maintaining their weight.
Portion Masters' portion control plate is clearly labeled and comes with detailed instructions on the types of foods you can measure with the plate. Most importantly, the portions are scientifically researched. By focusing on the volume of food you should eat per category (depending on your weight loss goals), you can still enjoy the foods you like and still lose weight.
2. Drink Water Before Every Meal
A portion control plate isn't the only answer to your weight loss goals. You need to consider other scientifically proven methods of regulating appetite. Drinking water before meals is commonly overlooked but is an effective way to control portions.
Studies have shown that drinking approximately half a liter of water before every meal can reduce overeating and result in rapid weight loss (44% faster) over a three-month period. This tip is mostly effective for middle-aged to older adults.
Water is an effective appetite suppressant since the body can mistake thirst with hunger resulting in overeating. Research studies have indicated that overweight and obese individuals who take 500ml of water, half an hour before meals, eat 13% fewer calories. Water also helps in weight management.
Research also shows that individuals with normal weight feel fuller and avoid overeating after taking 500ml of water. If you care to know how to control portion sizes, start by drinking water (500ml) thirty minutes before every meal!
If you struggle with drinking water, check out this post: I Hate Drinking Water! What Should I Do?
3. Take Your Time Eating
While water can make you feel fuller before a meal, eating slowly will increase satiety during a meal resulting in a lower food intake. There is research supporting this tip, and it all depends on the time the brain takes to register satiety.
Research suggests that the brain takes roughly 20 minutes to suppress ghrelin - the hormone that controls hunger. Eating slowly will give the brain some much-needed time to induce satiety which in turn reduces overeating.
This tip works for both men and women, and there are studies to prove this. One such study involving healthy women indicates that eating slowly increases feelings of fullness.
Besides preventing overeating, eating slowly has other benefits. For instance, you'll enjoy your meals more. Your digestion is also bound to improve when you take your time and chew food properly. A slow eater is also bound to be distracted reducing instances of overeating.
In case you want more specifics on eating slowly, take small bites and chew every mouthful 5 - 6 times before you swallow. This tip is more of a behavioral strategy for reducing instances of overeating and maintaining healthy body weight.
4. Avoid Eating Out
How to control portions can be a daunting task if you love eating out. Restaurants are known to serve large portions that encourage overeating. What's more, restaurants don't follow the recommended portion sizes (50% vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% carbs). Instead, most are guilty of offering 50%+ carbs that are packed with saturated fats.
In a nutshell, your chances of overeating in a restaurant are very high. Studies targeting American fast-food restaurants suggest that such establishments generally serve 2 to 5 times more food than what you should be eating.
If you eat out, expect to overeat. What's more, you have to be deliberate and choose restaurants with health options; otherwise, you risk overeating unhealthy foods. Those who must eat out should beware of the portion sizes and the food variety. Eating half of what is served is a great way to control portions when eating restaurant meals. You could also order a side dish such as salads instead of eating the main dish.
In summary, losing weight isn't easy. Overeating is among the greatest hurdles, even among individuals who work out frequently. However, if you don't learn how to control portions, weight loss will be tough. If you have reached your ideal weight, overeating can erase your gains.
With the above tips to control portions, you now know how to control portions to reach your health and fitness goals. Start by throwing away your regular plate and getting Portion Masters' adjustable portion control plate to eat what you want without worrying about counting calories, overeating, and gaining weight. Armed with your portion control plate, purpose to drink water before every meal, eat slowly, and avoid restaurants, then watch yourself reach the weight loss goals with ease.