Knowing how to portion out your food effectively is essential when trying to live a healthier lifestyle and control your waistline. The only problem is that the correct way to portion meals and snacks isn’t something that’s always intuitive. Fortunately, there is a way to change that.
Why portioning is important
If you told people that you eat three meals a day, have few snacks, and do daily exercise, they’d probably think you’re an incredibly fit and healthy person. However, if those snacks are high in fat and sugar, for instance, they might think differently. The same goes for if those meals contain a significant amount of food. If your bowl or plate is full to bursting every time you eat, your intake of calories, salt, sodium, sugar, and all that other stuff is likely to be too high. That’s why portioning matters. It ensures you don’t overdo it during mealtime and ruin other efforts you might be making to look after your health.
Think about the calories
Getting the portions perfect every time can take a bit of practice. However, if you keep the essential elements in mind, it shouldn’t be too tough. Firstly, you want to consider calorific content. Women are typically advised to eat 2,000 kcals a day, while for men, 2,500 kcals is recommended. This may increase depending on any exercise you’ve done during the day. By understanding how calorific the food you eat is, you can get better at increasing or reducing how much of it you put on your plate.
Use your hands to help
If you want to know exactly how many calories are in your meals, you’ll need to use a lot of kitchen equipment to weigh and measure everything. That can be a lot of hassle, so if you want to save yourself some time, consider using your hands to help. For instance, a cup of rice or pasta should be the equivalent size of your fist, whereas your cupped hand is around one ounce for things like dried fruit and nuts. A standard portion of meat should roughly fit on your palm, while you can measure a teaspoon of things like butter using a fingertip. Moreover, your thumbs are about two tablespoons, and your index finger is an ounce. Of course, this may vary slightly depending on the size of your hand.
How to portion snacks
Snacks are best to avoid when possible, although they do serve a purpose. They can help give you an energy boost that will keep you going until mealtime. You just want to avoid overindulging in them by portioning them out properly. Some tips that should help with this include eating foods that are more filling, drinking more water, and avoiding eating while multitasking. If possible, it’s also worth dividing your snacks into smaller portions immediately and putting these into individual packets for easy access later.
Portion control can take time to perfect. However, once you understand what your body needs and learn to resist overindulging, it should become second nature.