If you’re just starting to cook for yourself or trying to reconsider your food portions, you’ve probably asked yourself, “How much should I really eat?”
The easy answer to that question is until you feel satiated. The hardest part for me when I eat is to stop eating when I’m full. I was raised under a household where we always finished our food at the dinner table and tried not to leave any leftovers because leftovers usually ended up in the trash. When I first started cooking I also had trouble with portion control! Here are some tips on how you can improve your food portioning:
Before we begin, if you’re an absolute beginner to meal prepping and not sure where to start, check out my previous post: 8 Meal Prep Tips for Beginners.
1). Drink A Glass of Water Before You Eat
If you’re trying to focus on portion control and how often you’re eating, drink a glass of water when you’re hungry and wait 10-15 minutes. Sometimes our body feels hungry when we’re actually just dehydrated and craving water! If you’re still hungry after that glass of water, have your snack or meal.
2). Only Buy What’s on Your Shopping List
If you walk into a grocery store with a set list of only the things you need, shopping will be a much easier process. This will help you buy only the things you absolutely need for the week, which will prevent binge eating, unhealthy snacking, and also save you some money.
3). Use Smaller Plates, Bowls, and Utensils
This sounds like a dumb suggestion, but hear me out! When you use smaller plates and bowls, portions appear bigger. If you’re using a ginormous plate to grab food, what you put on your plate looks smaller, so you’re more inclined to fill the entire plate up! Using smaller utensils will cause you to eat slower, which will help in figuring out when you’re actually full. It takes about 30 minutes for your brain to realize that your stomach is full and that you no longer need to eat.
4). Fill Half Your Plate with Vegetables (That You Actually Enjoy Eating)
I’m sure we all have the same issue of not consuming enough vegetables every day. Make sure that half your plate consists of vegetables you actually like to eat! Vegetables can fill you up fast and are also filled with all sorts of nutrients and fiber, so reap the benefits!
5). Fill the Rest of Your Plate with Carbs and Proteins
My family raised me to fill half my plate with white rice, which was a very difficult habit for me to break when I moved out. Fill 1/4 of your plate with carbs and the other 1/4 with a protein. Remember to eat foods you like and not to force yourself to eat anything you don’t enjoy! It’s harder to stick to the rules you set for yourself when you’re forcing yourself to eat things you don’t like.
If you want some more info on the recommended food intake and food portion hacks, check out my video:
Remember that you will go through trial and error to get a food portion that’s right for you, so don’t stress out if you can’t figure out portion control immediately. There are no set rules to eating correctly and life should be about enjoying things in moderation, not stressing about how much you eat! I wish you all the best of luck on your journey to a healthier lifestyle!