Portion Control is Self-Control

Portion Control is Self-Control

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One of the recurring themes in any weight loss journey is portion control. More often than not, it serves as a visual aid to help educate us as to what a healthy portion is. But there is a difference between learning what a healthy portion is, and how building portion control as a habit can help us lose weight. The reason for this is that when it comes to something as personal as losing weight for our health, we take every bit of information as separate, when really, they go hand in hand. So today, we’re going to consolidate the information so we can point out the benefits of portion control, and how it can help us control our weight, as well as shedding our excess weight (another important distinction we will discuss in a bit!)

Portion Control Explained

In a nutshell, portion control means being mindful of how much food we eat at any given meal. But generally speaking, those of us on weight loss journeys tend to miss the mark. We over serve ourselves, and more specifically, we serve larger portions of the food we should be eating sparingly, while avoiding those which would be more nutritious, filling, and ultimately, less harmful in large quantities. So, what is the right amount for each of the different foods? Protein should be roughly the size of your palm. If eating pasta, half a cup should be enough, give or take the size of the front of your clenched fist. As for vegetables, we should try for 5 or more servings a day, with each serving being roughly what would fit in our outstretched hand, although with leafy greens, a proper serving would be roughly what we can fit in our cupped hands. Remember, sugar and fats should be kept to a minimum, give or take a tablespoon.

More Visual Aids!

We tend to eat with our eyes. If everything looks delicious, it’s always tempting to have as much of everything as we can. And we’ve also experienced both sides of this when we’re eating at a restaurant. How often have we seen a big plate with such a small serving that we almost look disappointed at the sight of it, and want more? Or on the other hand, how often have we been served a dish that looks so big that it is almost intimidating, but finish it anyways? The good news is that it is pretty easy to trick ourselves into healthier portions by just changing the way in which we present food. Something as simple as using a smaller plate but filling it with the right portion of food can have a profound impact on how we perceive our meals. If we have a full plate, and we cleared it, it’s hard to believe that we didn’t eat enough. Smaller silverware helps too! Smaller bites mean the meal lasts longer, which makes us think (or more accurately, realize) that we’ve had quite enough, thank you very much!

Slow Down

This point doesn’t seem like it belongs in the same category as portion control, but it’s a short and sweet one. When we eat too quickly, it is exceedingly easy to overeat. That’s because our brains haven’t quite gotten the signals that were full yet. In other words, we ate faster than our brain could process the information, which hurts our progress and our stomachs, because shortly afterwards, we don’t just feel satisfied, we feel stuffed. It’s one thing for a meal to hit the spot, but another for a meal to crush the spot entirely. By slowing down when we eat, our brains have time to get the signals from our bodies that we are getting full, and we end up eating the right amount. Slowing down really is the unsung hero of portion control.

The Right Amount of Food Cuts Both Ways

We’ve covered how portion control can help curb overeating, which in turn helps us lose weight by ensuring we only eat our allotted number of calories on a day-to-day basis. However, the other reason it is important to control our portions is to ensure we are eating enough. Sometimes, we get way too excited our progress and we tell ourselves something along the lines of “Time to take it to the next level!” While it’s normal for us to ramp up our efforts slowly with our weight loss journey as we build better habits, we have to be sure that we are still meeting our minimum threshold, or a bit more. We always need to be mindful of the fact that our goal is to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable, and healthy way. It’s one thing to maintain a healthy caloric deficit according to our base metabolism. It is another thing altogether to be malnourished and calorically deprived. People need to eat. Not too much, not too little. Just right. Taking a mindful approach to portion control means we can gradually lose weight, until we hit our goal. Once we hit our goal, there’s no need to lose more weight, we just need to maintain it.

Medical Professionals Can Set You Down the Path to Success

When it’s all said and done, weight loss, nutrition, wellness, meal planning, and even portion control, all fall under the category of medical science. By seeking the help of trained professionals, you not only have better resources to succeed, but the support structure you need to build better habits. The professionals at Olivera Weight Loss have over 40 years of experience in helping people reduce their weight to a healthy BMI, in a clinically proven and medically safe way, and with the means to help their patients keep it off. Patients who qualify for medical weight loss treatment with Olivera receive Phentermine, an FDA approved, clinically proven appetite suppressant, which is an excellent way to jumpstart better habits with proper portions. This is also helpful in tracking because it will help put your food intake into perspective. In addition, patients have access to our Meal Plans to help keep a balanced and nutritious, and delicious diet, in a sustainable way. With our established patients having the option to continue their care with our Telehealth service, receiving the support, encouragement, and continuing education they need, we make it easier than ever to follow your plan!

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