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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4 Ways to Control Portion Sizes for Weight Loss




Calories is a great way to control how much you're eating in order to lose weight. Not everyone is able to count calories at each meal and not everyone wants to count calories in the weight loss process. Can you lose weight without counting calories? Yes, you can! There are ways to control your portion sizes so that you keep your calories in check. Controlling portion sizes may not be the most accurate way to judge how many calories are in your meals but has been successful for many people in losing those extra pounds. Here's how you can control your portion sizes for weight loss.
1. Eyeball Method - This is by far one of the most common ways to measure how much food you take in. Used in major diets around the world, the eyeball method provides a way to measure portion sizes without needing any additional tools. Your protein portion should be the size and thickness of the palm of your hand. Carbohydrates in the form of starchy carbs should be the size of your clenched fist. If you opt for carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and fruit, you can measure two fistfuls. Last, for fat, you'll want to use the tip of your thumb to measure fat that you add into your meal. Easy enough? You can use this method to control portions at your home, at a restaurant and even at a party. When at a restaurant, it's a great idea to portion out your meal and put the rest into a take home box. Ask your server to bring you a doggy bag right away so you aren't tempted to eat the rest!
2. Measuring Cups - Yep, you can carry measuring cups around in your purse or laptop bag. Grab your 1 cup measuring cup and use it for protein, fat and carbohydrates. Your protein portion should be about ½ - ¾ cup. Carbohydrates of the starchy kind should equate to approximately 1 cup and carbohydrates from veggies and fruit should measure about 2 cups. Fat should be just a smidgen at the bottom of the measuring cup or about 1 tablespoon. This method may provide a bit more structure as you can actually measure out amounts. Some people may or may not want to tote around a few measuring cups though.

3. Portion Control Gadget - The Meal Measure gadget is a tool that you can actually put on your plate to fill each section with the perfect amount of protein and different types of carbohydrates. A little bit more controlled, this option offers a plate size tool that is great for home use. You may or may not want to tote this bad boy to a restaurant - your choice. Either way, this is an excellent source to keep your portions under control.
4. Use Smaller Plates - Smaller plates make portions look bigger. Sometimes this weight loss game is one that involves tricking yourself into believing that you're taking in more than you actually are. It gives the mind a little bit of satisfaction. Instead of using full dinner plates, use a few smaller plates for your meals. Side dishes and saucers make great portion control tools. Use a saucer for protein and carbohydrates like bread or pasta. Use a side dish plate or salad plate for salads and veggies and get your teaspoon or tablespoon out for fat like olive oil or canola oil. This method is great because there is no need to buy any extra tools and most restaurants won't mind bringing you a few extra dishes.
Measuring what you take in can be easy and convenient. It's important to truly stick to the portion sizes listed above or you can easily find yourself eating too much again. Once you get yourself in the groove of eating the correct amounts, you'll find it hard to eat much more than that. Pick one method above and stick with it for at least 6 weeks to determine how it works for you. If you're not seeing the results that you want, you may want to reel your portions in a little more or try counting those calories to get the success you're looking for.
Margot Rutigliano is a freelance writer as well as the owner of Vita Vie Retreat. She has been a fitness trainer, wellness coach and healthy living adviser since 1999. Vita Vie Retreat is a fitness retreat offering healthy lifestyle transformation programs for men and women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information or to contact Ms. Rutigliano, please visit http://www.bvretreat.com.


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