Food portion size has greatly increased over the last 30 years. Documentaries like "Super Size Me," attest to the consequences of oversized portions.
Popcorn is now 3 to 6 times bigger than before. According to the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey hamburgers have increased by 97 calories, french fries by 68.
Not only are we eating more, we are also eating more meals prepared away from home. Between 1977 and 2006 the percentage of calories consumed away from home increased from 23.4% to 33.9%.
The main thing with a portion control diet is that they only work while you are on them. Many people have been successful with Weight Watchers. But what's the problem with their plan? You have to continually "watch" your weight, watch your portions, count out your points, regulate everything. You are constantly thinking about what you can eat and what you can't.
For this reason it is not a good plan. As soon as you go off it, the weight comes right back on. And Weight watchers makes lots of money by keeping you constantly needing to follow their plan and use their support system. Wouldn't you rather be self sufficient?
It's kind of like an alcoholic having to handle drinks all day. If you have been struggling with your weight, you're best to not be constantly thinking about food and counting out points. It's better to learn what your body specifically needs. Develop a long term healthy eating plan suited to your needs and lifestyle, that you can easily follow for the rest of your life.
Obviously you do have to be mindful of the amount you eat and do not eat oversized portions. Depending on you and your body type or metabolic / energy type, it may be a good idea for you to have a healthy snack in the afternoon. By doing this, when dinner time arrives you will not be so ravenous that you will over eat.
Along the same lines of portion control is the importance of eating slowly and mindfully. Digestion begins in the mouth. By taking the time to slowly chew your food, your salivary glands area able to secrete the digestive enzyme pytalin. This is needed to help break down starch and sugars. The stomach has a lot harder time breaking down large chunks of food, not properly chewed, resulting in indigestion and gas.
By chewing slowly you allow the time for the stomach to fill up so you will feel full and stop eating. Enjoy and savor each mouthful of healthy delicious food.
Small portion meals is a really bad idea. When you deprive yourself of food, you slow down your metabolism. You will lack essential vitamins and minerals that you need. And if your meal is too small then the body will store the next meal completely as fat. By eating a healthy diet you will feel full, not hungry. If you feel hungry it is because you are either thirsty or you are not nourishing your body with natural, healthy foods.
Many of my clients are surprised to discover that they are never hungry with my weight loss plan .
The best weight loss plan with food portion sizes below, will show you what to eat to feel satiated and full.
The FDA has recently come up with it's own version of portion control plates. They have taken a plate and divided it into four. One quarter each for vegetables, whole grains, fruit and protein. And of course to keep the dairy industry happy they have a round shape which would be the glass of milk. There is no need for milk in a healthy diet.
If you want to lose weight this version of a portion diet won't help you.
Make at least half but preferably two thirds of your plate vegetables for lunch and dinner. The other third is for your carbohydrates or whole grains and protein. Healthy carbs would be brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, pasta made with kamut or spelt, potatoe, or sweet potatoe.
This is the healthiest and best way to eat bar none. Yes fruits are healthy, but again it depends on the person and their body type. If you crave sweets a lot you would do best by reducing the number of fruits you consume to 2 or 3 per week, until you get your sugar cravings under control.
If you need more specific healthy eating guidelines for food portion size, say when eating out, you can roughly measure things using the palm of your hand. A piece of chicken or fish can be a little smaller that the palm of your hand. Whole grains the same thing. A slice of bread, (preferably made with kamut or spelt flour) is one serving. And there is no limit to the amount of vegetables you can eat.
Following these guidelines you will easily be on your way to achieving optimal health and your ideal weight.