Portion control in America is, well, out of control. With serving sizes at many restaurants getting bigger and bigger, it’s no wonder our waistlines are following suit. One of the keys to managing your weight is portion control. By eating the right portion sizes instead of oversized meals, you can limit calories and maintain your weight — or even lose weight — depending on your goals. Here’s what you can do practice proper portion control:
1. Educate yourself. It is important to have a firm understanding of recommended portion sizes. Reading the labels on all your favorite foods can help you get a better grasp of nutritional terms and serving sizes. Another great resource is right in front of you: MenScience Magazine. This men’s nutrition and skincare blog is filled with handy nutrition advice to help you improve your eating habits. We also have helpful nutrition and fitness calculators that can calculate your body mass index, daily calorie intake and more.
2. Write down everything you eat. Sometimes we aren’t really aware of how much food we’re eating on a given day. To get a better picture of your eating habits, start a food journal. Write down everything you eat and drink – even that 5-calorie piece of gum you chewed. It’s a great way to see if you’re overeating at any of your meals. With this knowledge, you can make meal changes accordingly. MenScience Boot Camp offers some tips on creating a personalized food journal.
3. Pick the right snacks to help you eat less. For greater satiety, stick to high-protein snacks like a men’s whey shake or a handful of almonds. Protein is the most filling of the three macronutrients – fats and carbs being the others. Because these types of snacks are more filling, you’ll be less likely to overeat between meals; the calories that you save can mean a world of difference over the long term. “How to Cut Calories” suggests other ways to control your calorie intake.
4. Study the menu at restaurants. Many people are able to control their portion sizes at home, but lose all ability to do so when they go out to eat. We’re inclined to finish everything on our plate. This often leads to overeating, sometimes in excess of a thousand calories. Fortunately, some restaurants now offer calorie-controlled options so that you can enjoy eating out without feeling guilty. If none of those options are appetizing, there’s another alternative: eat half the food on your plate and wait five minutes. You’ll give your body enough time to signal that it’s full and you’ll save yourself a few calories.