We firmly believe in moderation; most weight control programmes fail because of starvation that invariably leads to binge-eating. It’s simple, really – the number of calories you consume determines your weight. It follows that smaller portions of food mean less calories and hence better weight control.
We humans are such visual creatures aren’t we? If the food looks like it will fill you, it actually will, even if the quantities are less than you imagine. However good the food looks, you will eat less when you use smaller plates and spoons – so exchange that dinner plate and spoon for a salad plate and a smaller spoon.
Here are some simple pointers for portion control before we go on to how we can actually reduce the portion-size of what we eat:
- Eat less salt, solid/trans fats, fast food, stuff with added sugars, and refined grain/flour.
- Eat more fruit and veggies, lean protein, good oils, seafood, low-fat dairy and whole grains
- Check food labels – shop carefully and make a conscious effort to buy healthy food.
- Eat slowly, chew your food well, savour every bite. Don’t rush through your meal. If it’s cheese or chocolate, make it last by nibbling on it. It does work!
- Spray oil into a pan, don’t pour it. You will use less oil this way.
- Sit down when you eat. Don’t eat in a rush or whilst standing or walking around. You will be able to keep a better track of what you eat (and how much) when you are seated.
- Turn off the television. Please don’t watch the idiot box when you are eating. It leads to mindless eating without your realising it.
- Pre-portion your food the way we have with Slim. When you set out a balanced amount of food on your plate, you will eat less than if there are big bowls of it in front of you.
And now for the crux of the matter:
Learn portion size. Here a way to determine how much to eat of any food type. You can use these commonly found items to eyeball the quantity of food you serve yourself. Your daily portions should be something like this (you really don’t need more:
meat – the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand
broccoli, berries, steamed veggies – about the size of a cricket ball for each meal
rice – no more that a light-bulb sized serving
oils – about the size if a poker chip
muffin – tennis ball – 1 oz serving of grain
chips – count out 20 of the potato or 6 of the tortilla chips
ice cream – a scoop that’s a wee bit more than a golf ball or about half the size of a cricket ball
waffles / pancakes – no more than the size of a CD
So what happens when you have to eat out?
It’s really not so difficult to control your portion size in a restaurant as well. Just follow these four simple ideas:
share a dish with the people you are eating with
skip the appetizer and have soup or salad instead
if it is possible, order a half portion of what you want to eat
And what do you do with leftovers?
How often have we served ourselves that last slice of pie, pizza or cake because it is there and you don’t want to let it go waste? But cease and desist! Don’t feel shy about asking the restaurant to box the left-overs for you. You can always eat it for another meal, but please don’t eat it simply because it will go waste.
Well, what about tempting treats like pizzas that are so difficult to resist?
Pizzas contain a ton of calories from fat, refined flour and cheese. So, when it’s pizza-time:
choose thin whole-grain crust instead of deep-pan or the thick crust
pile on more of the veggies and less of the meat
choose low fat or no fat cheese or, if you really must, use a small sprinkle of the real thing
and, have one slice – eat it slowly, savour the flavour, enjoy every bite.
Denying yourself completely of the food you like to eat is not going to help. That will only increase your craving for it. Instead, plan what you are going to eat and limit the portions. This way, you will be the one in total control of your weight and your good health.