As an advocate for portion control, watching how much you eat is one of the best ways to lose weight and stay healthy, yet still maintaining your daily recommended nutrient for each of the food groups. I have counselled clients who shave hundreds of calories daily just by watching their portions sizes, and are losing weight effortlessly. While it may seem obvious that larger portions have more calories than smaller portions, most people don’t realize just how much more calories a large portion contains. Just to say that even a healthy diet without portion control will result in weight gain.
Another advantage to practicing portion control is that you do not have to cut out any food groups to get thin and you get to indulge in your favorite treat every now and then. No deprivation!
Large portions contribute to weight gain because large portions contain more calories than small portions. Let’s take a look at practical ways to control portion sizes using our basic African/Nigerian meals.
Swallows (Amala, pounded yam, wheat, Eba)
10-15 Table spoon of rice as compared to 2-3 serving spoons of rice
15 Table spoons of cooked beans as compared to 3-4 servings beans of beans (Less spoons depending on the oil content)
1-2 slice of bread as compared to 4 to 6 slices
2 Piece of standard size meat as compared to Assorted meat ( 4-5 pieces)
3 Balls of Akara over the 5 Balls of Akara
1 wrap of Moi Moi as compared with 2 wraps
A typical combination controlled portion would be 6 spoons of rice one , half MoiMoi and some salad and a piece or 2 of meat
Useful Tips for portion control
- Plate size (or buy a portion control plate)
- Fill up on fruits : 2 portions a day see previous post on click here – Fruits and vegetable : 5 controlled portions a day
- Half your existing portion size
- Limit liquid calories
- Buy food in small portions
- Avoid Your Triggers: If you can’t stop at one handful of groundnut, then don’t even start. – Choose a treat you CAN control
- Serve food on a plate not eat off the containers or packaging
Eat slow and savour every bit of the food
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