When done correctly, portion control works extremely well.
Let's take a look at how you should approach it for the best results in this quick guide.
What exactly is portion control?
The disciplined practice of eating only a limited amount of food is known as portion control.
Portion size is important in weight management and obesity prevention. It can also help people who have to manage their weight for medical reasons, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels.
Someone with a BMI of 30 or higher, for example, should consider portion control while trying to lose weight.
Keep in mind that one cup from one company may not be the same as one cup from another.
When using packaged meals or other products that come in single serving containers, always use a measuring cup to measure out your portions.
How Should Portion Size Be Calculated?
Use your hand as a guide to calculate portion size.
For example, if you are choosing between two types of fruit juice – one that comes in an 8-ounce container and another that comes in a 16-ounce container – the smaller serving would be the better choice for dieters on a weight loss diet.
This method can also be used with other foods such as pasta, rice, and cereal.
Instead of relying on eye measurements or cups, you can measure your food with your hands.
This method can also be applied to other foods such as pasta, rice, and cereal.
Your risk of overeating will be greatly reduced if you measure what you eat with your hands rather than relying on eye measurements or cups!
This method is not a fad diet or a quick fix; it is something you can do on a daily basis.
It works because the human brain responds better to visual cues than to abstract numbers.
It's critical to remember that you should eat enough food every day and not “diet” yourself into starvation mode.
When you stop eating for an extended period of time, your metabolism slows, which may cause you to gain weight when you resume eating normally. To avoid putting your body into starvation mode, stick to a portion control diet on days when you exercise less than usual or skip workouts entirely.
You are preventing your body from slowing down and burning fewer calories this way.
So, if eye measurements are truly inaccurate, should dieters abandon calorie counting?
According to research, people who want to lose 5-10% of their total body weight can benefit from using portions as a calorie intake guideline.
Counting calories becomes even more important if you want to lose more than that. Furthermore, if you are recovering from anorexia or bulimia, which often involve a distorted perception of normal portion sizes, using measuring cups to determine meal size is especially important.
How Can Portion Control Aid Weight Loss?
Eating the right amount of food – that is, choosing food items with fewer calories and smaller portions – is a very simple way to achieve and maintain your ideal weight.
Most high-calorie foods contain fewer nutrients per calorie when served in larger quantities; therefore, having a smaller serving size will allow you to get the essential nutrients your body requires while still limiting how many calories you ingest each day.
2 Portion Control Techniques
There are two ways to use portion control for weight loss and overall health improvement: The above-mentioned visual cue method is the first approach.
Rather than trying to memorize abstract caloric numbers, simply convert your serving size into a number that the brain can relate to.
A general guideline would be 20 grams per 1 ounce (for fruit), 25-50 grams per cup for grains, 120 ml or half cup for liquids, and 31-35 grams per tablespoon, as well as approximately 70 calories per slice for breads, making it easier to stick to a daily calorie budget without becoming confused or frustrated by counting calories all day long.
The second approach entails becoming acquainted with the most common nutritional values of food items. To assist you, the following are some general portion sizes for various types of foods:
- A portion of 1/3 cup cooked or 1 ounce raw is approximately 50 calories. Each serving of breakfast cereal should contain no more than 130 calories.
- Two pieces of sushi are roughly equivalent to one meal and should contain between 110 and 130 calories.
- If you choose a snack like a chocolate candy bar (37 grams), 10 jelly beans (6 grams), or 15 gummy bears (25 grams), make sure your total daily intake does not exceed 230 calories.
- A medium bagel is about 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cooked pasta or rice. As a result, when deciding on a serving size, keep in mind that one average bagel contains approximately 250 calories.
- 1 cup of soup or stew may contain around 150 calories, but if it contains cheese, cream, butter, or other high-calorie ingredients, the actual calorie content will be higher.
- 3 ounces of turkey (the size of a deck of cards) contains approximately 90 calories; the same size portion of cod (without its skin) contains approximately 110 calories; 3 ounces of chicken breast (the size of a palm) contains approximately 120 calories, and so on.
- 7 ounces of lean ground beef (or tofu) is equivalent to one hamburger patty and contains between 240 and 260 calories.
- 1/2 cup cooked or raw carrots or green beans equals about 50-70 calories; 1 apple (3 inches) equals about 80 calories; 1/4 head lettuce equals about 8 calories; half a small potato / sweet potato (100 grams) equals about 200 calories; 1 banana (8′′) equals about 100-120 calories, and so on.
- A glass of skim milk or soy milk is roughly equivalent to 150 mL or half a cup, which means that each serving should contain no more than 100 calories.
If you want to have healthy portion control, you can also include nuts (no more than 10-12 almonds, 4-5 peanuts, etc.), olives, and pickles in your daily meal plans.
Please keep in mind that all of these values must be converted into actual food portions.
Here is a simple formula to use if you need an easy way to measure your food intake for the entire day or just want some guidelines on how much of what you should eat:
Make complex carbohydrates up to 40% of your diet, lean proteins up to 30% (lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs), fat sources up to 25% (nuts and seeds; vegetable oils; fish and seafood; avocados / guacamole, etc.), and non-caloric beverages up to 5%. (water, coffee, tea).