Losing weight is no picnic, that’s why it’s no secret that there seems to be “endless” products and “magic” solutions to get rid of the extra weight. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we can accept and face the fact that the healthiest and realest way of losing weight is following a healthy diet and doing exercise.
Nevertheless, within the two key factors of diet and exercise, there are smaller details that make a huge difference in your battle against the extra pounds. Portion sizes! You’re eating super healthy and exactly what the doctor ordered, but for some unknown reason, you don’t seem to be losing the extra pounds, but why?
You’re eating veggies, fruits, nuts, drinking fruit juices and doing everything right and still you can’t seem to shed the fat. Well… do not freak out, you’re doing well but maybe you’re not doing EVERYTHING right. You actually don’t have to suffer when it comes to your diet in order to lose weight. You can be flexible and enjoy the delicious meals and foods that the world has to offer and still shed the extra pounds or maintain a healthy weight. Here is where portion sizes for losing weight comes in.
The mystery of why the French stay slim has been discovered
They’re famous for their delicious food, sugary pastries and flavorful wines, but still they’re not famous for battling obesity problems like other countries in the world, who don’t enjoy such a rich cuisine. Only 7% of French people are obese, which is an indicator that their fatty food is not making them fat. What the French have going for themselves and their weight is that they know about portion sizes. They eat everything! But SMALL portions of everything. They don’t starve themselves with boring diets that include only lettuce and water. They know how to eat deliciously and stay slim at the same time by cutting down the portions of their meals.
A group of investigators took the challenge of discovering the differences of food portions in France versus food portions in the United States, and they found that meal portions in France where up to 25% smaller than on the other side of the pond. When it came to candy and soft drinks, portions varied significantly as well. The difference between France and other countries in the world is that the French eat to savor their food, instead of stuffing themselves with food. It’s a matter of changing the reasons why we eat.
Now, you’re probably wondering…
What is a Good Portion Size, How much is Enough?
This can be a tricky one because we’re all different shapes and sizes. It is obvious that a 6ft tall man will need larger food sizes than a 5ft woman. The amount of exercise that you do also plays a role in the amount of food you need to eat. But don’t freak out. This doesn’t mean that you have to count calories for the rest of your life. You need to get to know your body and get to know your needs. If you’re an active person you will need more calories than someone who has a more sedentary lifestyle.
At the start, you WILL need to count the calories that you put into your body and the calories that you burn until eventually you can manage how much you need in each serving, and you’ll start knowing automatically what’s the portion you need to eat. This is of course where you need to have a more exact idea of the portions that you need to eat.
How you can start counting your calories.
2,916 calories a day is considered to be above the recommended intake of 2000 calories a day. Nevertheless, you have to take into account the amount of physical activity that you perform that allows you to burn the calories. It’s also important that you take into consideration that it is recommended that you consume less than 10 percent of calories daily from added sugars.
If you want to know with more precision the amount of calories that you need to eat according to your age, height, gender and physical activity then you can check it out in a Body Weight Planner. This will help you define more precisely the amount of calories that you need to eat.
With this in mind, you’ll be able to better understand the portions that you need to eat in order to either lose weight or maintain your weight.
How To Reduce Your Portion Size
Cutting down portions might be difficult at the start. Especially if you’re used to eating large portions. But don’t sweat it, it shall pass. Your body will get used to smaller portions, that is of course if you don’t have a disability that hinders your brain from registering the signal that your stomach is full, or if you are morbidly obese to the point that your stomach has become enlarged, in which case a gastric bypass is necessary to reduce the size of the stomach. But if this is not your scenario, then you’re on the right track to cutting down portions. Here’s a short list of things that can help you out:
- Order the small portion! Don’t supersize.
- Eat slowly. By eating slowly, you’re going to give your body more time to send the signal to your brain that you’re full. When you eat fast you can tend to overeat because you’re not allowing your stomach to settle the food and send the signal to the brain that it’s satisfied.
- You don’t have to finish everything that’s on your plate. If you’re going out to lunch keep in mind that you don’t have to devour absolutely everything, you can take it to go. Our brains can psychologically trick us into believing that we need to eat everything that’s been served so remember, NO you don’t!
- Start your dinner by eating a large portion of veggies, continuing with a medium sized meal and then you can finish with a small portion of the desert. This way you’ll be giving a larger amount of low-calorie food and ending with a small portion of high-calorie food.
- You can eat bread, just keep it small. This is the wonder of portion control, you can pretty much eat everything, just keep it small. Count the number of calories of the slice of bread you’re eating and decide whether you want to eat those calories in bread or in something else.
- Don’t skip meals. You might think that you’re doing your weight a favor, but skipping meals can make you overeat later on. Eat healthy snacks in between meals.
- When eating at home, choose a small plate or bowl because this will trick your brain into believing that you’re eating bigger sizes.
- ENJOY YOUR FOOD! Savor each bite, eat slowly, think of what you’re eating and don’t stress over the amount. It’s not about getting full by eating an entire chocolate cake, but about enjoying that one slice.
- Drink plenty of water in between meals. Sometimes we’re actually thirsty, but we believe that we’re hungry. So make sure that you’re keeping your body hydrated.
Controlling and managing your portions is usually not done in one sitting, you practice every time you sit down and then your master the portions that you need to eat over time. It takes patience, perseverance and control, but it can be done. It will not only do wonders for managing your weight but also in keeping your body healthy.