Previously, we shared 5 super foods to beef up your daily meals. Then we come to realize that many of our clients do not understand the importance of portion control.
What is Portion Control?
Portion control is simply understanding how much serving sizes of food are, and how many calories the food provides. This is of upmost importance as many people tend to overestimate how much food that is actually on their plate! Did you know that a serving of protein (meat, fish etc.) is equivalent to a deck of cards? Or that one portion of peanut butter is the size of your thumb? (I know! How horrifying.)
This is how an ideal meal set should be:
Breakfast: 20% Protein, 40% Fruit, 40% Starch/Grains
Lunch: 20% Protein, 40% Fruit/Veggies, 40% Starch/Grains
Dinner: 25% Protein, 50% Veggies, 25%Starch/Grains
Portions: How Much Is TOO Much?
The average male needs about 2500 calories, while the average female needs about 1800 calories. However, portion sizes have been increasing over the years.
Take a look at this chart:
Alarming, isn’t it? Portion sizes have been blown out of control. Biggest isn’t necessarily better.
Now, many do not see the importance of portion control. Exercising vigorously may help you lose weight, but if you calories are not in check, the weight will bounce back to its original, or even more. This is because you never lose your fat cells. (Gasp!) They simply shrink, or expand. That is not to say that vigorous exercise coupled with a restrictive diet will help. The weight you have worked so hard to lose will go back to its original once you start eating normally again as you have put your body in starvation mode, which sets off an alarm internally to store whatever food you have eaten as fat. Does this mean that exercising is not ideal? NO! Instead of opting for diets, try going for a lifestyle change.
80/20 Rule: All About Moderation
This rule is fairly simple: focus 80% of your food choice on healthy, whole foods, and 20% on indulgent foods. This means you are able to eat your favorite piece of Kueh Lapis or reward yourself with some chocolate ice cream, while still making healthy choices.
How do you apply this rule? Simply take your total meals per week and divide it by 7!
Eg. If you eat 3 meals a day..
This equates to 21 meals a week, which gives you 3 indulgent meals.
Everyone needs to indulge once in a while, but eating your whole day calorie intake in one meal is not a good idea. For example, try eating whole foods (vegetables, fruits, white meat etc.) throughout the day that fills you up without hitting your calorie intake and treat yourself to a decadent slice of chocolate cake. The key here is MODERATION. Plan your “treat” meals ahead of time so you know you don’t mess up.
Mastering Portion Control:
The table below shows the basic breakdown of food:
The portions shown above may seem smaller than what we normally have. This is because we are so used to consuming larger portions of food that it has become normal portions for us. By controlling our portions, we are more in tune to what we put into our bodies, and will eat slower (maybe even enjoying our food more in the process!).
Check out this article on Shape for a more in depth analysis of portions.
Couple your new-found information on food portioning with ample exercise (Like Pilates!) and notice yourself walking with a spring in your step in weeks!