August Challenge: Portion Control

 For our August challenge, let us make a very conscious effort to practice better and right PORTION CONTROL. This might sound very easy, but actually it is not as many people who claim/believe they practice portion control actually do not. Portion control is an essential component of weight management because it helps keep our calorie intake in check.

Portion control not just only involves reducing what we are eating but involves eating a healthy balance and amount of the different food components that make up a balanced diet. Hence without adding vegetables to our meal, we are not doing it right.

The dicey part now comes in, how do we know/estimate the right proportion of food we need? Eye balling meals, having a standard guide for measuring out food, using smaller plates can help us out in maintaining portion control. It is very important to add that not because we are using smaller plates, we should stuff it up. Do not press down on your food to make it appear smaller while in the actual sense you are eating more than your ‘usual ‘portion size.

It is also advisable to use different plates/bowls to serve out our meals instead of dishing all in a plate; different dishes make our meal ‘seem’ bigger and we tend to get fuller easier than with a single plate. You can as a guide divide your plate into four parts; two parts for veggies, the other two for carbohydrate and protein respectively.

The largest/biggest part of our meal should consist of veggies: you can go for any veggies readily available and accessible to you for instance steamed(not cooked) pumpkin leaves(ugu), spinach(green), garden egg leaves(akwukwo anara), garden egg plant, coleslaw, tomatoes , bell peppers , etc. the more colourful your veggies presentation is, the better.  

If you are eating out, avoid the bread basket, rather start with veggies and fill yourself up before going to the main course. If possible, try ordering kids menu as some restaurant portion can be quite large and calorie dense. If it is not possible, request for ‘doggie’ pack and pack out half of your meal before you start eating. Also check how many calories the meal contains (many restaurants now provide such details).

Ensure you do not skip meals, as you know you tend to over eat with the next meal. Do not leave off healthy snacks in between meals; they help keep you full before your next meal.

If you are eating a pre packaged meals/snacks, make sure you read the label to know how many calories you are consuming. Yes, this is where serving size versus portion size comes to play. For instance when the pack reads; this bag contains two servings. The calorie per serving is written out so if you are eating the whole pack (portion size), you should double the calorie per serving to know how much you are actually having.

Keep well, stay active and please share.






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