Food Portion Sizes & It’s Importance to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Losing and controlling weight calls for more than exercise and healthy food choices. You also need to consider portion sizes.

A "portion" is how much food you choose to eat at one time, whether in a restaurant, from a package, or in your own kitchen. Many people confuse portion size with serving size, which is a standardized unit of measuring foods—for example, a cup or ounce—used in dietary guidance, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A “serving” size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts. Sometimes, the portion size and serving size match; sometimes they do not. Keep in mind that the serving size on the Nutrition Facts is not a recommended amount of food to eat. It is a quick way of letting you know the calories and nutrients in a certain amount of food.


Portion control directly helps you to lose weight by tipping the scales in favor of the output of caloric energy. When you carefully monitor your portion sizes, you decrease the amount of food that you eat. This decrease in food intake also represents an overall decrease in the number of calories that you eat, provided that you eat the same foods that you did previously. This makes it easier for you to burn off those calories through less activity. You'll therefore begin to gain weight more slowly or, ideally, to maintain or even lose weight. (see attached wallet sized guide for portion control).


Tips for Portion Control

1. Don't feel like you have to be a member of the "clean plate club": You should be ok with wasting a little bit of food if it means you’re eating a healthier portion. That may mean leaving some of that tasty pasta dish on your plate when you eat out on the weekend. Instead share a meal with a loved one or bring some of your food home for another meal.
2. Use smaller plates and bowls: Trick yourself into smaller portions by using smaller bowls and plates. It may seem silly, but your plate will look fuller, and you won’t eat as much.
3. Eat healthy foods that are more filling: Instead of eating chips or donuts, try eating healthier foods that are more filling and that have few calories – while still having good nutrients (oatmeal, apples, baked beans, grapes, popcorn, and all-bran).
4. Plan ahead for our meals: Make your meals at home if possible, and plan out a healthy menu plan that includes correct portion sizes.
5. Read nutrition information: Reading the nutrition information will help you to know just what you’re eating, and how much of that food is intended to be in a serving. Try just eating 1 serving, instead of the whole bag.
6. Never eat out of the bag or box: Instead of eating out of a bag or box, transfer 1 serving of the food to a plate or bowl, and eat one serving at a time. Eat slowly to give your brain time to catch up with your body.

Sources: www.WebMD.com, www.fitday.com, www.quicktofit.com
 

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