Keep Excess Kilos Off With The Fine Art Of Portion Control
- 6 mins Read
- Dr. Pramod Mane
The time around Christmas and New Year is often a blur with family, friends, music, decorations, lights, and lots of food! It’s during this time that our spirits are high and in that zone, we often end up overeating and gaining weight.
It’s hard to tell when that one extra bite of Christmas cookie turns into a habit taking us down the spiral of overeating without our knowledge. The next moment you know, it can take weeks or even months to recover from all that holiday eating.
So, is it possible to find a way to work around how to stay healthy during Christmas, and yet have fun?
Yes! To fix your food habits before they go haywire, we have rounded up the best tips to avoid holiday weight gain. Among other things, the simplest and easiest is to exercise portion control. If you’re wondering what is portion control and how does it help to lose weight, read on!
What is portion control?
The best thing about portion control is that it lets you eat all your meals, without having to worry about piling on the excess kilos. All you have to do is to watch the quantity on your plate. Yes, even while enjoying delicious holiday food!
Remember, portion control is among the most easy ways to eat guilt-free and keep your cravings in check. So, if mindful eating is on your mind, make sure you incorporate portion control not just in your holiday eating but also into your list of diet New Year’s resolutions.
Here’s how you can develop a diet mentality during the holidays and avoid holiday weight gain by practicing portion control.
1. Water is your friend
Water, also known as the elixir of life, is also your best friend when it comes to health. Water has zero calories and its hydrating properties are a boon to your internal organs. One more thing about water is that it can fill your stomach quickly and aid in the digestion of the foods you eat.
Drinking a glass of water before beginning your evening can help you feel full quicker. Even if you are on intermittent fasting, drink water and stay hydrated to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body. This way, your body will convert itself into a fat-burning machine. It is also a great way to avoid overeating and support your digestive health. So, make sure you make drinking plenty of water a habit to help lose weight fast.
2. The goodness of soup
Soups are amazing. Period. They are hot, light, flavorful, and most importantly, very healthy for you. Soups are fluid foods that packs in fibers and proteins with all the vegetables that go into it. Drinking a bowl of soup at the start of the meal can make you feel full. This satiation is due to the warm water content of the soup. The calories that you have consumed are however few. Little wonder that soups are part of every healthy eating plan.
In fact, the best foods for pregnant women is also considered to be nutritious, warm, and liquid soup. Getting a bowl of soup before you start eating can help you feel satiated and make better food choices during dinner.
3. Go easy on the appetizers
Appetizers are lip-smacking, possibly fried, and loaded with calories. These are small bites that give you the notion that you haven’t eaten much. However, in reality, these small bites are often overeaten because of their small size, tasty nature, and the ease at which they are served. If you have to, eat them off a tiny plate, so you don’t end up overeating.
Controlling the number of appetizers you consume might be the first step in winning the game of portion control during the holidays. So, make up your mind and remind yourself that there is an entire main course of tasty food awaiting you and that overdoing appetizers at this stage might ruin the experience for you. Throughout your holidays, consciously choose foods that burn belly fat like beans, salmon, broccoli, sprouts over an array of fattening foods, to make losing weight easier. Exercise to reduce belly fat and make eating healthy and small portions a priority.
4. Choose your plate wisely
The dinnerware in which you eat your food plays a huge role in food psychology. If you take a large plate and add food to it, it might appear as if the food on the plate is less because of the large size of the plate. But if you choose a smaller plate, voila! The same amount of food immediately appears like a lot.
Choosing a smaller plate can help you eat smaller portions of food while making you feel like you have eaten a healthy amount. With portion control, you can lose belly fat and lose weight easily by taking small steps.
5. Watch your main course
Most NYE parties or get-togethers offer multiple-cuisine dinners. While you might be tempted to try out everything on the menu, keep in mind that this will only lead to overeating, digestive issues, and regret.
The key is to pick one cuisine of your choice, get a smaller plate, and get your favorite food in a controlled proportion and try to get a balanced diet. This way you can enjoy what you like without giving up on your health goals.
6. Use your plate as a portion control guide
As we now know, smaller plates can help us eat in a controlled way. To go further, you can use your plate to divide the portions of your food into proteins, fats, carbs, and fiber. This way you can visibly see what it is that you are eating more.
The best way to lose weight is by assessing your plate. If the maximum portion of your plate is filled with protein and fiber, followed by carbs and then fats, it’s a great way to eat a balanced meal. You can use this theory even during your regular outings by choosing whatever protein is available followed by fiber, carbs, and then fat.
7. Take time to eat
While you are enjoying your meal, make sure you are eating slowly. Chew every morsel of food thoroughly and feel every bite you are consuming. This is called mindful eating.
Eating your food slowly while enjoying it leads to a feeling of fullness and satiation. So, do not chomp down your meals, just sit back and eat them peacefully with your loved ones.
8. Irresistible desserts
Christmas and New Year time are almost incomplete without desserts. This merry time of the year has desserts holding prominence, right from breakfast pies, afternoon custards, tea time plum cakes and pastries, creamy cakes, buttery tarts, decadent mousses, ice-creams and more! At such times, giving in to your temptation can be easy. But remind yourself that overeating can never make you happy whereas small portions of tasty desserts can surely lighten up your day!
Eat tiny portions of your favorite desserts. Choose fruits for weight loss from the dessert platter. Make sure to use small plates and dessert spoons. And don’t forget to eat slowly while you indulge yourself.
By exercising portion control and following these easy tips for holiday eating guide, you can enjoy all the foods that you love while still being in the fitness game. Natural weight loss is possible with some simple steps. Don’t let your mind trick you into giving in to your cravings, instead just satisfy them with small portions of food. For healthy eating for Happy Holidays, follow the above dietician-backed holiday eating tips. With these in mind, you can keep both your motivation and spirits both high this year-end.
Hetherington, M et al. (2018). Understanding the science of portion control and the art of downsizing. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 77(3), 347–355.