Everybody wants to eat healthy but it seems like everyone is failing at making a sustainable habit out of it. The key to eating healthy is to balance the nutrients and calories in your food with your activities. Controlling your portion size is another important factor for weight loss because it's not just what you eat that counts, but also how much you eat. Here are a few dietary guidelines that you can follow for healthy eating and portion control.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for your overall health and well-being. It helps you maintain an ideal weight and also aids in preventing chronic conditions that may come along with an unhealthy weight gain, such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Healthy eating is as important for maintaining an optimum weight, as physical activity is. If you are looking at weight management, another factor that you should focus on is portion control. Portion control relates to choosing a healthy amount of a food item. It helps you get the benefits of the nutrients in the food without overconsumption. Portion control helps you digest food easily, control your blood sugar levels, stay energised throughout the day, and maintain a healthy weight. If you are not sure of how to follow a healthy diet and practice portion control, here are a few tips.
Avoid having large heavy meals as it is not only hard on your digestive system but can also add on to your calories. Instead, you can opt for smaller meal portions throughout the day. It can boost your digestion and metabolism, thus aiding in weight loss.
Try to include more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. They are a rich source of fibre and nutrients, which is beneficial for your overall health. Fibre slows down digestion keeping you full for longer and thereby preventing frequent snacking. This helps lower your calorie intake. Plant-based food helps maintain your bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar levels, and aids in achieving a healthy weight. Go Easy on Processed Food Processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, canned meat, pies, chips etc., are generally high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. Therefore, these foods can cause weight gain and also increase the risk of developing chronic lifestyle diseases such as hypertension.
Preparing your own meals will help you customise them in the way you want. You can try making healthier versions of your favourite food using less oil, fat, salt, or sugar. You can also add healthy ingredients such as fresh fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, as per your choice. Try making small changes over time and progress towards healthy snacking and eating.
Most of us tend to let go while eating outside, thinking that we do not have an option to eat healthy. It is important to know that you can still choose to eat healthy while dining at restaurants. Choose baked or roasted food instead of fried versions. You can request that your meal be prepared with less salt, oil, or sugar and also get more vegetables and fruits added to your plate.
Using smaller plates or bowls is an effective way to control your portion size. This will help you assess the optimal nutritional ratio for a well-balanced meal. You will be able to get the nutrients from the food and at the same time, be able to control your calorie intake. You can also fill up half your plate with fibre-rich fruits and vegetables and the rest of your plate with complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.
Using your hand as a guide is another way to gauge your portion size without any measuring tools. For example, the palm of your hand should equate to the amount of meat you should eat. A clenched fist should correspond to the amount of carbohydrates in your meal. Further, when choosing high-fat foods such as butter, the rule is to have one thumb size per meal.
Restaurants generally serve large portions, which may disrupt your diet plans. In some restaurants, portion sizes could be up to 2.5 times larger than the usual serving size. While eating outside, you can ask for a half-portion size or get half the portion packed for later, in order to lower your calorie intake.
Food served from large containers encourages overeating and loads up on your calories. Therefore, a better option is to empty the package contents into a bowl or container, and take a limited portion size onto a plate or a bowl, to prevent yourself from eating more than you need. Remember, you can always come back for second helpings if you still feel hungry. But if you put more onto a plate than you may be able to comfortably eat, chances are that you would want to eat it all, just for the sake of not leaving food on the plate.
Firstly, take a small serving and eat mindfully. Have your meals slowly and see how you feel when you finish one serving. Assess your appetite. Go for a second serving only if necessary.
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