Portion Control for Weight Loss
One of the many skills you will learn for weight maintenance is portion control. Maintaining proper portion sizes during your meals will become increasingly important as you approach your goal weight and move into a maintenance situation. Portion control can be challenging at first, but there are ways to reduce the risk of overeating with small changes to your habits.
The appropriate amount of food for a serving can depend on the specific item. For example, it is usually appropriate to eat about three ounces of fish or meat in a single meal. Three to four ounces of meat is usually about the size of a deck of cards.
You can use portion-control measuring cups or weigh the food directly to ensure that it is an appropriate serving size. Opt for small servings of meat, cheese, or other high-calorie foods. In the case of fruits and vegetables, a medium-sized fruit or vegetable is usually a serving size. Otherwise, you should measure the food by half-cup increments.
Focus on Eating at a Meal
It is easy to eat in excess if you are watching a movie or engaged in other activities during a meal. Portion control is easier when you focus on each bite and take your time to eat a meal. Do not allow any distractions during a meal. This is called “mindful eating” and is a well-known technique for people attempting to control intake during meals.
Use a Small Plate
A large plate can make a proper portion size seem inaccurate or small. By eating on a smaller plate or using a portion control plate, it is easier to feel comfortable with the size of the meal. The smaller plate gives the mental image that you are eating more, which can make it easier to feel satisfied during the meal.
Portion control is an important part of losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. If you are careful to measure your meals, avoid foods that are high in calories and use smaller plates or utensils, then you will be able to reach your weight loss goals.