Last Updated on October 12, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Portion control is perhaps my favorite way of dieting. It allows me to eat anything I want while still losing weight. However, it may also be one of the more difficult things to accomplish. This is especially true when you consider buying food at the grocery store or at a restaurant. For instance, most cans of Progresso soups are technically for two servings, but how many of you actually separate it out come lunch time?
The Influence of Portion Control
In reality, portion control can quickly help you drop a great deal of weight. This is because a very large portion of people in the United States are grossly overfed. Many of them don’t even realize how much food they are actually eating in any one sitting.
Reducing Your Intake
Obviously controlling the size of your portions is going to result in reducing your food intake. Depending on what you’re eating, this can be incredibly good for you. I’m not just talking about fruits and vegetables type of good, either. If you like snacking on goodies like I do, portion control can lower the amount of sugars and sodium you’re taking in as well as fats and carbs.
I don’t believe in denying yourself the simple pleasures of certain foods. However, there needs to be some form of moderation. For example, a row of Oreos does not a serving make. Technically, a serving size should be about two cookies. Unfortunately, too many of us grab a glass of milk and can easily polish off an entire third of the Oreo bag without flinching.
The insane amount of sugars and carbohydrates you can consume in any given sitting does a great deal of damage to your body. This can cause a wide scope of issues ranging from developing rotten egg burps to throwing your insulin levels out of whack.
Lower Grocery Bills
Monitoring your portion control can indirectly help you save money in the long run. Think about it. How often do you have to go to the store to replenish the food supply in the house or to buy more snacks? Instead of two sandwiches, limit yourself to just one. It will make the loaf last twice as long.
The less food you eat, the more money you’ll save. Now, I’m not saying that you should starve yourself. However, reducing your intake will also reduce your grocery bill.
This is one thing I hear a lot from various people: “It’s expensive to go on a diet.” In reality, it doesn’t have to be. Once you start training your body to consume less than what you have been, you won’t need as much to keep yourself from feeling hungry. This isn’t too mention some of the others ways you can fool yourself into eating less.
Reducing Your Weight
I lost the first 20 pounds by reducing my intake and adding more physical activity. Instead of two packages of Ramen noodles, I now eat one. Instead of eating the entire package of sugar cookies in a day or two, it now takes me the better part of a week. All of this reduction helps restrict how much fat my body is creating.
The point of portion control is to consume the right amount of foods your body needs to remain functional. A 16oz steak that is free if you can eat it in one sitting is way more than you need. Think about it this way, that steak should feed you dinner for five days. Yeah…American’s are way overfed.
Looking for Something Filling
For me, monitoring portion control has influenced the types of foods I eat some of the time. For instance, three ounces of chicken and a cup of instant potatoes usually doesn’t fill me up. If I don’t want the increase of calories, I’ll choose something that can be added to give the meal more girth. Green peppers, onions and perhaps a salad often work nicely.
Another good snack I enjoy is a serving of baby carrots. The health value for the day goes off the scale and I get a snack that I truly enjoy.
Grocery Price Wars
Ok, now this is a bit of a stretch. But can you imagine how prices of food would drop if everyone centered themselves on proper portion sizes? People would be spending less at the checkout lines forcing stores to go into a price war to make money. It’s the law of supply and demand. If the demand drops to a certain point, the cost of the supply will as well. Unfortunately, everyone within the community would have to do this in order for it to work.
It’s like those gas emails you may get once in a while where everyone tries to buy fuel from one specific company. Theoretically it would work, but it requires more than just a handful of people to commit to it.
It Takes a Great Deal of Commitment
For someone who loves food like I do, it takes a great deal of commitment to maintain proper portion sizes. It’s incredibly easy to add way too much to your daily routine just by having that extra serving of cookies. That’s why I try to monitor everything in MyFitnessPal. That way, I get a read on what I am eating and everyone can see whether I am being good or not. I publicly open all of my health profiles for anyone to see.
What it boils down to is your own level of willpower. When it comes to force of will, I am somewhat lacking. While I can have really good days, I can also have really bad ones. The trick is to not wallow in being bad, but focusing on what you can do good the next day.
There is No Such Thing As Guaranteed Health
No one can guarantee a certain level of health from any given diet or routine. This is because everyone’s physiology is different. While there are some things remain factual, such as spinach being a premium source of nutrition, other things may be more reliant on a person’s unique physical needs.
For example, there are a lot of people out there who don’t believe in having sugar of any kind. But for me, hypoglycemia requires that I have something sweet or go into diabetic shock. Orange juice works very well, by the way.
The level of health you provide for yourself is governed by your specific needs. You can’t rely on the promises of others, but you can learn from their experiences. That’s why I don’t guarantee anything in this website. In reality, I only write about what affects me. Whether you believe in portion control or not is irrelevant. Learn about your own physiological needs and tailor a routine to fit yourself.