Eating a well-balanced meal in the right proportions is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, with busy schedules and various distractions, it can be challenging to monitor the amount of food we consume. Portion control is important because it allows you to have a tight handle on how many calories you are presumably consuming. This way, you eat what your body needs, instead of mindlessly overindulging. Overeating can lead to weight gain and other health issues, while under-eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies and low energy levels. Therefore, it is essential to know the appropriate serving sizes and how to control portions effectively. (Also read: Eating habits you should adapt to maintain your nutrition level and healthy lifestyle )
Ruchi Sharma, certified nutritionist and founder of ‘EAT FIT REPEAT’, shared with HT Lifestyle, some simple tips and tricks to help you eat your meal in the right proportions.
1. Make your plate colourful: A colourful plate is likely to have foods from different groups, for example a plate with strawberries, ½ a cup of rice, chicken fillet, and sautéed vegetables is much more diverse and healthier than a plate of chicken curry alone.
2. Use smaller plates: A smaller sized plate will make a small portion of food look big and you are likely to get satisfied.
3. Don’t pick at leftovers: Wasting food is not encouraged at all but it doesn’t mean you need to polish off your children’s or grandchildren’s leftovers. Cook less or make a solid plan to use your leftovers e.g. you can feed birds or stray animals.
4. Drink before you eat: Drinking a glass of water or buttermilk before you eat will take up some room in your stomach. This might help you minimize your portions.
5. Add vegetables and fibre: Bulking your meal up with vegetables and fibre is an effective way of cutting on calories as they are high-volume foods with minimal calories while making you feel full. For example, you can use a whole multigrain roti instead of plain bread.
6. Don’t double up carbs: If you already have a starchy vegetable on your plate, don’t go for roti, or naan with it and vice versa because you will be doubling up your carbs this way.
“This is how you can manage your portions accordingly. Other than this, eating slower, having soup before meals and limiting mealtime distractions (such as watching TV while eating) can help manage your meals in the right proportions. Looking at food, smelling it and Chewing your food is important for optimal digestive health, hunger and satiety management, Also for GLP-1 which regulates proper insulin secretion. As the name implies, portion control emphasizes minimizing the amount of food you eat instead of eliminating certain foods from your diet. This will help you design a healthy and balanced meal to achieve your health and weight goals,” concludes Ruchi.