Portion Control for Weight Loss

One very effective way of controlling excess weight is by reducing the amount of food eaten at each sitting by exercising portion control, voluntarily.

A frightening statistic is that over 13 million teens and adults are obese, with the majority of adult Americans already being classed as excessively overweight or obese.

Experts blame America's obesity on sweet drinks, fast food, high-fat and high sugar foods. Exercise (or the lack thereof) is an altogether separate topic.

portion controlIt is time to make better food choices and change how we eat. You can reduce excess calories by learning about portion control.

There are a number of meal replacement diet food delivery diets available that can help in this area. Most are affordable and the most popular program, Nutrisystem can cost a person from just $10 a day to lose weight conveniently and simply.

If you're interested to know more, you can read my review of Nutrisystem any time.

Let's look at where much of the nation's obesity problem lies and what we can do about it.

Food Favorites that Make Us Fat

It's not just Americans who eat a lot of sugary and fat-rich foods. Much of Europe and parts of Asia are catching up fast.

The worst offenders in this food category include cookies, breads, pasta, waffles, donuts, pastries, pancakes and cakes. Other culprits include soda, energy drinks and sports drinks.

Even fried or breaded chicken can add too much fat to your diet. Pizza, pasta, as well as alcoholic drinks, are other high-calorie staples of the American diet.

Our excessive daily calories intake comes mostly from carbohydrates and only a small portion of it from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Serving the Right Size Portions

Your body will become more comfortable with smaller portions. Fast food and restaurant meals are often super-sized in terms both of calories and portions.

As well as increasing portion sizes, dinner plates have become larger. Many people are taught to clean their plates, but this could mean they are overeating.

Reduce what's on your plate to lose weight by staying away from super-size meals and opting for regular size alternatives. You can effectively halve what you'd normally eat and still be perfectly satisfied as long as the food you eat is nutritionally dense and healthy (meaning not processed junk food).

What to Eat Less Of

The average American diet contains 800 calories per day of trans fats and sugars, which is about half the daily calories required by an average woman.

The U.S. recommends limiting intake of solid, trans and saturated fats. Two of the first steps towards a healthier diet are to eliminate fast food and refined grains (like white bread).

The aim should be to reduce the intake of sugar by as much as possible. This includes added sugar as well as hidden sugar (in carbohydrates), which can contribute the majority of sugar consumed each day.

High blood pressure and heart disease can be reduced by replacing table salt with sea salt (yes, really).

What to Eat More Of

You can substitute healthier foods in your diet. Select lean proteins and seafood instead of sugar-laden carbohydrates.

Try to consume 8 ounces of fresh-caught (non-farmed) fish every week.

Use olive or coconut oils instead of unhealthy solid, hydrogenated fats like margarine. Choose mostly whole grains over cereals or bread/pasta with refined grains.

Don't be fooled by low fat foods. They are NOT helpful for losing weight, because the missing fat is replaced with sugar!

So opt for full-fat dairy products, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables are all healthy options.

The Pizza Problem

Change some of your favorite foods to make them healthier. Pizza is high in calories, refined grains, saturated fat and additives.

If you must eat pizza, you can substitute some pizza ingredients for a healthier diet.

A thin crust made from whole grains is a better choice. Use a variety of vegetables as toppings, instead of meat. Reduce the amount cheese that is on top.

Take one slice of the cheese and serve it as a side dish with a salad.

Serve Salad Plates

For proper portion sizes, eat from a smaller plate such as a salad plate. Instead of going back for seconds, or serving on family-style platters, learn the correct portion size.

Reserve leftovers in individual-serving portions containers for another meal.

Eating Out? Four Tips for Portion Size

When eating out at a restaurant, there are ways to reduce the amount of calories from carbs that you are eating. You can fit restaurant portions into your healthy eating plan.

  1. You can order a half-portion or a child's meal.
  2. Ask for half of your full-sized entrée to be packed before you eat.
  3. Enjoy sharing full-sized meals with others at your table.
  4. Instead of ordering a main meal, choose an appetizer or soup.

Eating out doesn't need to be too restrictive, just as long as you follow some common sense and avoid going for the kinds of dishes that are obviously loaded with carbs, added sugar or trans fats.

The dessert tray should be avoided if possible, because that's often the part of the meal loaded with most fat-producing sugar!

Summing Up

Losing weight can be achieved through sensible eating, with some control on portion size a part of the strategy.

Be mindful of what you are eating and remember that carbohydrates are transformed into a lot of sugar during the digestive process. So avoid ordering bread on the side and eat salad instead for a better shot at weight loss dieting.

When the main meals are carb-based, like pasta or pizza, check the menu for healthier alternatives that won't pile on the pounds once you have eaten them!

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Written by: Dr Harold Long