Portion control is the name of this game and reading labels and measuring is how you play it. Disproportionate portions can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals and on your waistline. I imagine that if you photographed 20 dinner plates from 20 different households in 20 different countries or states, you probably wouldn’t see the same ratio of macronutrients represented on any of those plates. Portion size for a lot of people is simply based on preference, but if you have set weight loss and fitness goals for yourself, then the portions of your macros would begin to look very different from the non weight loss seeking you.
Abiding by the designated portion of a nutrition label is a great way to start controlling your food intake, along with measuring your food to determine exact portion amounts for some foods, is another way to embark on a healthy eating journey. One of the first things I like to change in a client’s eating habits is portion control. This is a first step and the easiest way to decrease and/or watch your caloric intake. By consuming precise portion amounts, you will be able to see how much you may have been over or under eating of one macronutrient or another, and you’ll probably begin to see the scale tip to your favor.
There are other variables to look at when your goal is to not only lose pounds, but also to put on lean muscle. This is when you start paying attention and factoring in exercising and calorie burn. But, I don’t want to stray into the depths of muscle growth, so I’ll stay in the portion lane for now. Here is a simple guideline for monitoring your portions when you don’t have a nutrition label to rely on:
When you have dinner at a restaurant, a friend’s home, a backyard bar-b-que, or a picnic, this guideline can help you stay on track when you eat away from home and don’t have your trusty measuring tools to rely on. But, I will give you a very helpful tip when it comes to measuring your food: Ready for it!!! Here it is, MEASURE YOUR FOOD!! I emphasize this tip because, if you just guesstimate a measurement, you could be too far off from the actual portion size. But, if you measure out ¾ or ½ a cup of this that and the other, on a regular basis then you start to build a solid awareness of what that measurement really looks like when you put it in a bowl or on a plate. So when you run into those bound-to-happen moments when you cannot measure out a portion, then you will have nothing to worry about, because you will have measured it out so many times, that eyeballing a portion will put you super close to being exact.
Follow this first step to getting your portions under control and disproportionate portions won’t continue to closeline your weight loss efforts. Read the labels, measure things out, win the game!!