10 Effective Portion Control Tips For The Whole Family
Written by PM Admin - March 1, 2021
Portion control can be difficult for just one person, let alone trying to maintain healthy portion sizes for your entire family. Below you will find all the information you need including portion control tips for everyone in your family! Mastering the correct portion size for men, women, and children is possible without unnecessary feelings of stress, pressure, or confusion.
What is Portion?
Before you can improve portion control, it’s helpful to first understand what portion means. In fact, many people commonly confuse portion size with serving size, which can be especially misleading when it comes to children.
Serving size is the amount of a certain food product that a manufacturer puts on the nutrition label. There are a number of different factors that go into serving size, but basically, it is what the manufacturer believes the average person will eat in one sitting. Sometimes the serving size does represent a healthy portion size, but often it does not.
Portion, on the other hand, is what you eat in one sitting. If you sit down with a bag of chips and you eat two chips, that was your portion size. If you sit down with a bag of chips and eat the entire bag, that’s your portion size.
The correct portion size is an amount that each individual should actually be eating in one sitting. Healthy portion size depends on a large variety of things, including what you are eating, your age, your weight, how active you are, etc. Understanding healthy portion control is important both for yourself and for your kids.
So why is portion control so important?
Most people agree that eating healthy is important. Of course, the best thing to do is to “eat clean”, but sometimes it is fun and enjoyable to eat a little bit of “junk food.” Additionally, whether we are eating healthier foods or not, it is possible to eat too much. That is why healthy portion control is so important to a healthy lifestyle. Below you will find an explanation of some of the more specific benefits of healthy portion size control.
4 Benefits Of Portion Control
1) Losing Weight or Maintaining a Healthy Weight. No matter what you are eating, healthy portion control will be vital in reaching and/or maintaining a healthy weight.
2) Eat More Balanced Foods. After you begin to pay attention to the portion sizes of the foods on your plate, you will notice that you are eating a more rounded diet. You will find yourself eating more fruits and vegetables while still enjoying the carbs and meats that you love.
3) Reducing Cravings. Eating smaller portions of food consistently throughout the day can actually make your appetite more stimulated than when you eat larger portions. When you stop overeating, you will also be less likely to feel constantly hungry.
4) Enjoy Your Meals More. When you are eating healthy portion sizes of grains, meat, etc., you will find more space in your diet for a variety of foods and flavors, so you may actually end up enjoying your meals so much more.
Portion Control For Men and Women
Figuring out what your perfect healthy portion size depends on the number of calories you need in a day with changes based on a ton of different variables such as your age, weight, and activity level. However, you can use your hands for a general idea of how much you should be eating per serving. Or, for more accurate portioning based on specific weight targets, use the Adjustable Portion Control Plate!
Portion Control For Men: A portion of protein should be about the size of two of your palms, a portion of vegetables should be the size of two of your fists, a portion of carbs should be the size of two cupped hands, and a portion of fat should be about two of your thumbs. Men generally have a larger portion size than women because they burn more calories.
Portion Control For Women: Women can also use their hands to help them figure out how much a healthy portion size is. A portion of protein should be about the size of your palms, a portion of vegetables should be the size of your fists, a portion of carbs should be the size of your cupped hand, and a portion of fat should be about the size of your thumb.
Why Portion Sizes For Children Is Important
It is essential to not just ensure that your child is eating healthy portions but actually teach them about portion control to help them develop healthy eating habits they can carry into adulthood. Teaching children portion control, along with how to tell the difference between boredom and hunger, and how to tell when you are full (which can take up to 20 minutes to recognize) are often overlooked but critical life skills.
It is important to teach our kids that it is okay and necessary to eat when they are hungry. They should also know that it is okay to stop eating, even if there is food left on the plate, whenever they get full. If they do not know those two things, they may develop very unhealthy eating habits that affect them long-term.
Portion Sizes for Kids
Portion sizes for children depend a lot on what stage of development they are in. However, there are some general guidelines you can use. First, a toddler’s portion is generally about a third of what an adult’s portion is. When they get a little bit older and are pre-school or younger school-age, they should be eating between a third and a half of an adult portion. Finally, when they start to get a little bit older and especially into their teenage years, their portions should equal an adult portion, and perhaps a little bit more because they are growing.
More Portion Control Tips
It is just as important to practice healthy portion control when eating out at restaurants too. However, it can feel significantly more difficult as you are not controlling the amount of food on your and your family’s plates. The good news is there still some tips and tricks that you can use to eat healthy portions while at your favorite restaurant.
1) Drink Water First. This trick can be helpful both at restaurants and at home, but it can be especially beneficial in settings where controlling the amount of food on the plate is more difficult. Before any of you start eating your dinner, drink an entire glass of water. Drinking water before eating will both help you get full faster and notice that you are full faster.
2) Eat Vegetables First. You can eat a lot more vegetables and still be eating what is considered a healthy portion than you can eat anything else, including carbs and meat. So, before you start eating any of the other stuff on your plate, start filling up on vegetables.
3) Share Entrees With Family Or Friends. The portions that many restaurants advertise for one person are really good for two or even three people. Ordering one entree for multiple people will help you eat healthy portions, and it will save you some money.
4) Pack the To-Go Boxes First. If your family does not have similar tastes in food, or if your kids simply do not like to share food with each other, you could also pack the to-go boxes first. When you are eating out, before you start eating, ask your waiter for a box and put half of your meal into it. This way, you end up with a healthy portion and get an extra meal out of it.
Portion Control at Home
You can use many of the tricks that you use at the restaurant at home. For example, it can still be good for you to drink a glass of water before you eat your dinner to help you notice when you get full. Additionally, eating your vegetables first is always helpful to ensure that you get a full portion of all those nutrients, even if you do not end up eating a full portion of other things. However, there are some additional tips, tricks, and practices that you can use at home that you can’t at the restaurant.
1) Downsize. If you put away your large plates, bowls, and utensils and replace them with smaller ones, you will likely find portion control significantly easier. There have been studies that have shown that the larger the plate, the more food a person is going to take and then eat. When you use a smaller plate, you trick your brain into thinking you are eating more than you actually are.
2) Put Away Leftovers. Once dinner is made, it is understandable if you do not want to immediately start the cleanup; however, there is evidence that if you put away all the leftovers before you start eating, you are less likely to get seconds. It is unlikely that you will get more unless you are really hungry when you have to take out the Tupperware, make another mess, and reheat your food to get more.
3) Use The Portion Control Plate. One of the easiest ways that you can ensure healthy portion control for your whole family is with the use of tools. One of the best tools on the market is the Adjustable Portion Control Plate by Portion Master. You are able to adjust the size of each opening so that it matches what each member of your family needs. Once you have the plates positioned, all you have to do is fill the open spaces with vegetables, carbs, and meat accordingly, and you will know that everyone has a healthy-sized portion.
In conclusion, portion control does not have to be a really hard thing for you or your family. Managing portion sizes could not be simpler than it is with the Adjustable Portion Control Plate, and you can teach them about the importance of it all as you are making dinner.