Proof that portion size matters
In 2004, a study of 329 overweight people revealed that 38 percent of those who practiced portion control lost five percent or more of their body weight, compared to the 33 percent of participants who did not.
To help you further manage your portion sizes, Weigh-Less offers the following tips:
Measure and weigh your food
Your brain can trick you into believing that a portion size looks smaller than it is, and this can lead to unwittingly overeating.
So, whenever possible, measure your portions with a scale, at least until you become familiar with the sizes of the regular food that you eat.
Measure with your eyes
Occasionally it’s impractical or inconvenient to whip out a scale and accurately determine a portion size. At that point, it’s good to make a comparison with a similar object in order to best gauge a more precise size without underestimating too much.
Four quick ways to get an idea of serving sizes are:
- One serving of potato is roughly the size of a computer mouse.
- One serving of fresh fruit is roughly the size of your fist or a tennis ball.
- One serving of leafy vegetables or milk is one cup.
- One serving of other vegetables or cooked grains is half a cup.
- One serving of beans is one third of a cup.
- One serving of animal flesh is the size of a deck of cards.
It may take some practice to become a better judge of serving sizes and portions, especially as you put entire meals together. But the more you practice using the visual cues, the more control you’ll have over portion sizes. But when in doubt, get the scale out.
Pre-portion your favourite food
To save time and kilojoules, divide dry foods into their suitable portion sizes and then store them away into small containers or quick-seal packets. This will spare you the hassle of having to worry about determining the right portions from a large packet or box.
Mind the serving and portion gap on food labels
For various reasons, the serving and portion size on a nutrition label on food packaging will not correspond. Be careful not to confuse the two.
For example, nutrition and kilojoule percentages could be calculated on an item per 40g, but the serving size could be 100g. Ensure that you examine the label carefully to determine the serving size, and that it aligns with your Weigh-Less Eating Plan.
Use smaller plates
Trick yourself into accepting small portions by serving them up on a small plate. It helps if the plate looks fuller and will satisfy your eyes and your stomach.
Once you get these handy tricks under your belt, you will no longer have to worry about loosening it!