The Biggest Secret to Weight Loss – Portion Control
For many people, their diet isn’t the problem. It boils down to how much of everything you’re eating, and portion control is a big problem for a lot of people. From the portions we serve ourselves to the portions served in restaurants, it has helped to create an obesity crisis that we’re now struggling to get out of. Naturally, the main offenders are the foods themselves but how much of what we eat also plays an important role. What do people really eat the most of? It turns out that the culprits of our diet are cakes, biscuits and desserts – these are laden with calories and fats. Following on from that, we are loading up on breads, fizzy drinks, chicken dishes and pizza. In fact, no vegetable or fruit dishes even make the top 25 of what we eat regularly, which goes some way to determining where our problems lie. Many of the foods that we rely on for sustenance are high in both fat and sugar, racking up a big calorie intake every day. The basic guidelines call for most people to cut back on rich and fattening foods. It seems that researchers in America found that most people in the US get around 800 calories from two problematic groups – solid fats and added sugars. This means we need to limit our intake of fast foods, refined grains, trans fats and saturated fats. Most people also eat too much salt which increases their risk of kidney disease and high blood pressure.
We should be replacing these dangerous foods with healthier choices, such as seafood (at least eight ounces a week), whole grains (at least half of our grain intake) and low fat foods, such as lean protein, eggs and beans. And, of course, we need to top this up with fruit and vegetables. Lean protein and seafood should replace your fattier meats, and you should replace your solid fats with olive, canola and rapeseed oils. The next step is to cut back on how much of the foods we eat, by being sensible with our choices. We don’t need to eliminate all tasty foods, but there are ways of enjoying them without impacting our waistlines too heavily. For example, one of the foods we consume more than any other is pizza. This tasty and convenient snack is loaded with fats and salt, but we continue to eat it. But if you choose a thin crust pizza as opposed to a deep pan, you’ll cut back on the starchy calories and the amount of fat you’re consuming. Choosing a whole grain crust will up the health factor even more.
The dinner plates you use could be the cause of your portion miscalculations. We are programmed to finish what is on our plates, but studies have shown that we actually feel full psychologically by finishing it, regardless of the size of the portions. So if you use slightly smaller plates, you will be able to cut back on your calories without actually feeling any less full. You can also use your hands to determine if you’ve loaded the right portion onto the plate. Generally, use the size of your fist as a good measure – this will also stop you loading too much food onto children’s plates, as you can use their fist size as a guide for what is a good amount of food. If you’re still unsure, check the labels on your foods – they will often state how many people the package will serve, which will be a good indicator of how big the portion should be.
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