Following a specialized weight loss meal plan is not always a very practical or effective weight loss solution. To begin with, preparing special meals takes the time and effort most people simply cannot afford. In any case, most nutritionists will tell you that if you keep your diet wholesome and balanced, that is good enough to control your calorie intake, provided you are willing to exercise portion control at the same time.
With a little bit of focus and discipline, you will find that it is quite easy to exercise portion control during meals, and thereby control how much you eat in a day. Here are some useful strategies to achieve this.
Considering how busy most of us are during the day, it is easy to ignore our body's needs and skip meals. However, this is counter-productive. Hunger will strike with a vengeance at night, when you are exhausted and ready to go to bed. Consequently, you will end up overeating and piling your body with calories at the worst time of the day. This will adversely affect the quality of your sleep, your metabolism and your weight loss efforts.
Portion control for weight loss is most essential during dinner. It should be your lightest meal, and that is only possible when you eat consistently during the rest of your day.
The Benefit of Healthy Snacks
Another way to make sure that you don't overeat during dinner, or any of your other meals, is to have healthy and low-calorie snacks consistently, throughout the day. These will keep you satisfied, without overloading you with calories. A handful of nuts, fruits, wholegrain crackers and a light whole wheat sandwich with low-fat dressing are all good snacks. Finally, when you sit for your meal, you will not feel tempted, and you will have better control over yourself.
Drink Water Frequently
This is very important as far as portion control for weight loss goes. The body often interprets thirst as hunger, as a result of which you may overeat. Make sure you have a full glass of water before your meal.
Portion Control When You Are Distracted
If you anticipate any form of distraction, whether it is the television, a conversation or a chat over the phone, you have to be especially careful about exercising portion control. When your mid is distracted, it is very easy to overeat. In such cases, measure out a reasonable amount of food from the kitchen rather than keeping a large serving bowl in front of you.
This is another extremely important step, especially since it takes your mind 15-20 minutes to register that your body is full. When you eat calmly and slowly, you give your body the best opportunity to absorb the food and send you its signals. It will be very difficult to exercise portion control for weight loss, if you eat rapidly, on the other hand. Before you know it, you will have piled in more food than your body needs.
If you feel like you can eat more, wait a few minutes before serving yourself another portion and see if your body continues to send the signals of hunger. On most occasions, you will realize that it was desire not hunger that was prompting you.
At the end of the day, with these simple steps you will be able to exercise portion control for weight loss during your meals, and may just save you 300-400 needless calories a day. This is significant saving, considering 300 excess calories a day can make you put on 3 pounds a month!
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