Achieving a healthy weight is synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. Working toward that healthy weight can seem impossible at times. After all, you like to eat and do not want to give up any of the tasty food that surrounds you on a daily basis. Well, the good news is you do not have to give up any of that food. It is all about portion control and learning how to eat a variety of food and learn how much of each food your body needs. Once you learn how to apply portion control to your daily life, you will notice the pounds’ trickle away. You will be on your way to healthy weight, a healthy you, and a healthy life.
It is nearly impossible to actually weight and measure each bite of every food that is ingested, but it is possible to calculate portion size of each food. The first thing to understand is that most restaurant portions are not a regular serving size. The amount of food served by a restaurant on one plate is enough to feed two, sometimes three, people. Because of this distorted view on what a single serving size looks like, it is probably a good idea to physically measure out a single serving of the food you are going to eat. This will give you a visual of what a single serving actually looks like. you can read Eat More of This Food For Weight Loss Success .
There are some tips on measuring food portions when a scale or measuring cup is out of reach. One serving of vegetables or fruit is the size of a small fist or a baseball. One serving of rice or pasta is the size of two hands cupped together. The serving size of meat or chicken is about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of playing cards.
Always listen to your body to realize if you are full. The best advice is to place less food on the plate. Eat slowly. Once you have finished eating, place the fork down, and pause before filling the plate with a second helping. Your body will let you know if has had enough or needs more food. The food pyramid is an outline of the food groups and how much of each group should be consumed on a daily basis to remain healthy and nourished.
The different groups are grains and breads, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy, oils and fats, meats and proteins. Grains are breads, pastas, cereals, and similar foods made from grain. Eating whole grains is advised since it is higher in nutrients and a much healthier option than processed foods. One serving is typically 6 ounces. A single serving would look like 1 slice of bread, 1 pancake, or ½ a cup of cooked pasta. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber. Some vegetables are starchy and higher in carbohydrates than others are. Including vegetables with a dark green or orange color has a higher nutritional significance. These would include spinach, broccoli, acorn squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. One serving is typically 1 cup. A single serving would look like 1 medium potato, 2 medium carrots, or 1 large ear of corn. Strive for about 2 ½ cups a day of vegetables and mix them up as much as possible. Fruit is another high fiber food with low calories.
With so many options, it is easy to mix up the fruit and ensure that a variety of nutrients is being consumed on a daily basis. Strive for about 2 cups a day. One serving would like a 1 small apple, 1 small slice of watermelon, or 1 large peach. Milk and dairy group includes yogurt and cheese. Low-fat options are a better choice. While this group also includes cream cheese and butter, these foods are high in fat and do not provide any significant nutrients because they lose the calcium and vitamins of the milk when being made. Strive for 3 cups a day of food from this group. A single serving would like 8 ounces of yogurt, 1-ounce glass of milk, 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.
Oils and fats include corn oil, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, and margarine. Attempt to only consume foods that have no trans fat. Try to consume oil from fish and nuts only. Keep this group’s daily amount to about 5 or 6 teaspoons. A single serving would like 4 large olives or ½ of a medium avocado.
Meat and proteins also include chicken, fish, nuts, peas, and beans. Again, try to choose the lower fat and leaner options. Strive for 5 to 5 ½ ounces of proteins a day. One single serving would like a 3-4 ounce can of tuna, 1 small 3-4 ounce steak, or a 3-ounce piece of chicken.
Once you know exactly how much you should consume of each food group and what one single serving looks like, you will be able to properly control the portion sizes of food you eat without any trouble. It may take some time to remember the amounts or be able to visually determine if the portion is a single serving, but it will become easier as you continue your journey to a healthier you. You can still eat all of the food you love, but now you are doing it in a wiser way. You are enjoying food and striving for a healthy weight.