Thoughts on Better Aging

Are Outsized Portions Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts?

January 5th, 2018

Learn how to use portion control to guide your diet

Every New Year, many Americans put losing weight on their list of New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, according to a recent Gallup poll, about half of individuals who would like to lose weight don’t make any serious attempt to do so.

One potential roadblock to weight loss is the fact that modern American food portions are out of control. This means that even when individuals change their diets to include healthier food choices, they may still end up consuming too many calories.

Portion Size Now vs 50 Years Ago

Portion sizes for many popular foods have more than doubled since 1970. For example, in 1970 the typical bagel had about 230 calories. Today, a bagel is about 550 calories. Another example would be French fries—in 1970, about 30 fries or 450 calories was considered a serving. Today, a serving includes more like 50 fries and 790 calories.

Research has consistently shown that bigger portions tend to encourage people to eat more, which further compounds the problem.

How to Adjust Your Portions to Lose Weight

Portion control, along with healthy eating choices and exercise, is essential for losing weight. However, as you adjust your portions don’t make the mistake of cutting calories too drastically. Many studies have shown that severe calorie restriction increases appetite, and individuals who follow this type of diet typically end up regaining any weight that they lose.

Instead, try using some of these portion control tips:

Eat Slowly: It takes about 20 minutes for fullness signals to travel between your brain and your stomach. This is why eating too quickly often leads to overeating. Always wait for that feeling of fullness before you go back for seconds.

Cut Your Portions in Half: You can start your portion control efforts by cutting your normal portions in half. Eat one half portion, and then wait a few minutes to see if you are still hungry. You may decide you don’t need to eat the rest of the food.

Use Smaller Plates: A large plate can make healthy portions of food look small and leave you craving more. Using a smaller plate (or bowl) can help the same amount of food seem more satisfying.

Use Smaller Serving Spoons: When you use a teaspoon to dish up your food instead of a larger serving spoon, you’re likely to take a smaller serving.

Eat Several Small Meals: Try eating five small meals instead of three large ones each day. Eating more often can help control hunger and cravings, and as long as you keep your total calorie count in a healthy range you can still lose weight.

Turn Up the Lights: Eating in dim lighting tends to make people linger over meals and end up eating more—even after they’re full.

Clean Up Quickly: Putting leftovers away before you start eating can help discourage you from going back for seconds. Clearing the table and starting the dishes right after eating can have a similar effect.

Other Ways to Support Weight Loss

Portion control is an excellent foundation for your weight loss efforts. However, you may need extra help to control hunger, boost your metabolism, and burn more fat during exercise. Fortunately, Renew Youth has treatment options that can help support your efforts. Ask us about our injectable nutrient formulas, nutritional supplements, and hormone treatments today.

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