Apple for breakfast… salad for lunch…everything in the fridge and pantry for dinner! Let’s face it, finding the right balance when it comes to portion control can be tough. Where’s that invisible line between starving and overeating?
The first thing to know about proper portion control is, if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t be hungry. Here are a few helpful tips to develop balanced eating habits that don’t leave your stomach rumbling.
Step 1: H20
Most of us are not drinking enough water. You should be drinking about eight, 8-oz glasses of water a day. Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. So if you find yourself randomly snacking, there’s a chance you might be dehydrated.
Step 2: Eat Your Greens
Every plate needs some color to it, and this is often where we’re lacking. Veggies not only offer a range of health benefits (see blog) <link to veggie blog: http://www.thealaskaclub.com/blog/irish-youd-eat-more-greens>), but they also act as fillers. You’ll find yourself fuller less likely to overeat if you add a fist-size serving of veggies to your meal.
Step 3: Slow Down
It’s likely that you find yourself eating as quickly as you can to get to the next task. This can result in overeating, and not to mention, poor digestion. Never eat from a box or bag. Instead, lay out your portions so you know how much you are eating. Sit down and focus on your meal. You might even find it helpful to take the meal away from your desk. You’ll find the process of eating much more rewarding, and you’ll be less likely to find yourself hungry soon after.
Step 4: Work For Your Snack
It’s easy to plow through a bag of chips, only to ask yourself “what have I done?” Snacks that require, chopping and peeling often can slow the time from palm to mouth, reducing the chances of overdoing it. Pistachios, peanuts, and oranges are great examples of snacks you have to work a little harder for and leave you feeling fuller.
Step 5: Take A Pause
After finishing a meal, we might initially think we are not full and head back for seconds. Instead of immediately heading back for more, move onto something else. It’s likely that in the next few minutes you won’t feel the need for seconds. Sometimes it takes a little longer for our stomach to catch up to our brain.
Step 6 Don’t Eat Less, Eat Better:
That’s right, eat more! Instead of fatty and sugary foods, eat lean proteins like turkey, chicken and seafood. Beans, eggs, whole grains and a plentiful amount of fruits and veggies are all great alternatives that can fill you up.
So how much should you be eating? On average, a healthy diet for women is about 2,000 calories a day, and about 2,500 for men. Of course, other factors such as activity level and BMI can play a role. We’ve also included a link to gauge how much of a certain food you should eat. https://www.healthyeating.org/Portals/0/Documents/Schools/Parent%20Ed/Portion_Sizes_Serving_Chart.pdf?ver=2012-12-06-161711-673.
Remember, you should be eating three meals a day with small, healthy snacks in between. Portion control does not mean reducing the amount you eat, it means choosing healthy food that will fill you and feed your body. If you would like to know more about how many calories you should be eating and what your activity level should be based on your diet, you can request a fitness consultation at The Alaska Club. Our fitness instructors will review your health and fitness goals, conduct a variety of assessments and measurements, and provide a short demonstration of proper technique.