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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Portion Control Tips

If you're struggling to lose weight you know you must eat less. One of the common portion control tips is to use a smaller plate so that you won't feel deprived but will end up eating less at a meal. It sounds logical - except that a new study issues a strong challenge to this bit of weight loss wisdom.

Researchers have conducted an intriguing study that disputes the idea of plate size affecting how much you eat.

The study conducted involved 10 overweight and/or obese female subjects and 10 women of normal weight who were assigned randomly to eat a meal using an 8.5 inch (small) or 10.8 inch (large) plate. The experiment was conducted on different days, with a different plate size on each occasion.

The meal was spaghetti and tomato sauce and was presented in an individual serving dish. The participants were all instructed to help themselves and keep on eating until they felt satisfied. They ate alone.

Even when the women consumed the same number of calories, the overweight and obese group of women reported lower hunger levels and anticipated consumption before they ate, and did not feel as full after they finished compared to the subjects of normal weight - even though both ate the same amount of food. It may be that being overweight or obese reduces your ability to sense feelings of hunger and feelings of fullness than those of normal weight.

The researchers speculate that it may be that people eat until feeling full, no matter what size plate or type of utensil they are using at the time. So if you don't use the small plate strategy to help with your weight, what can you do? Here are some smart suggestions that will help you drop the pounds...

- Don't eat in front of the TV or while doing something else - you need to pay close attention to what you're eating, enjoy chewing and tasting and smelling what you're eating.

- Eat slowly so you have time to enjoy what you're eating, and your brain has time to register both enjoyment and fullness, before you eat too much.

- Eat at regular intervals - every two to three hours if possible, alternating larger meals with healthy snacks of 200-300 calories.

- Take larger servings of veggies and salads rather than starches, desserts or anything with a heavy (typically calorie laden) sauce.

- Buy snacks in single serve packages, or choose low calorie varieties. Buying large bags or boxes temps you to eat more without realizing it. If you must buy larger packages, split the item into single servings (per Nutrition Facts) packages.

- Take an amount equal to one serving and eat it on a plate (small or large) rather than right form the box or bag - you'll be better able to keep track of how much you ate by doing this.

When it comes to portion control tips and figuring out how much to eat, you need to understand the difference between a portion (how much you choose to eat) and the serving size given in the Nutrition Facts area on a package. Serving size isn't a recommendation on how much to eat, but rather a way to understand how many calories and other nutrients are in a set amount of food. Most packaged foods you buy contain more than one serving - check the servings per container to see how many servings a package has inside.

FREE Bonus Secret Health Reports - For a limited time you can grab 5 FREE essential health reports from the Daily Health Bulletin. Click through now to discover other portion control tips that can help you with your weight loss efforts.

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