Home Food & Fitness Portion Control: A Healthy Eating Puzzle Piece

Portion Control: A Healthy Eating Puzzle Piece

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Guest post by Ashley Ackerley

Have you ever committed to eating healthy only to step on the scale the next week and see that you’ve only lost a fraction of a pound, if any?  Losing weight can seem like a giant puzzle game, needing to put all of the right puzzle pieces together before being able to see the big picture.  Portion control is a major piece of the puzzle and goes hand in hand with the decision to eat healthy foods because nutritious foods are not calorie-free.

Let’s take almonds for example.  According to Self Nutrition Data, 1 ounce of almonds contains 161 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein.  According to researchers, almonds “are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease,” making them a fantastic addition to your diet.  The truth is, almonds are good for you but 1 ounce (roughly 15 almonds) isn’t a large portion. One ounce can quickly turn into 2 ounces, which can quickly turn into 3 ounces and then you have eaten roughly 483 calories without even realizing it.

 

So how can you make sure your portion sizes keep you within a healthy calorie range for weight loss or weight maintenance?

  1. Track your calories using online tools such as My Plate or My Fitness Pal.  A paper notebook is also a fantastic way to track your calories!
  2. Plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time. This is more common with lunches and dinners, but planning your snacks can be an instant calorie savor.
  3. After purchasing snacks, measure out portion sizes right away. Place each serving size into a plastic bag or reusable container and then write the calories on the outside of the bag.   With the large bag out of your pantry, you will be less likely to eat more than the serving size recommends and avoid “hand in the bag” syndrome.
  4. Create 100-250 calories snack bin.  By having a bin of pre-portioned snack, you won’t have to worry about figuring out what snacks will fit into your diet plan. You can just grab-and-go and not be distracted by other choices.
  5. Buy pre-portioned items.  Companies such as San Giorgio pasta sell pre-portioned products making it easier to control your calorie intake.

Portion control is the first step to succeeding on your weight loss or maintenance journey. Don’t sabotage the wonderful food choices you are making in your diet by over eating healthy foods. Find a portion control method that works for you and enjoy the healthy changes you have made in your life!

Read more from Ashley at Coffee, Cake and Cardio.

Share your portion control stories. Do you think portion control is important? What do you do? 

Photo 1 courtesy of WeightLossRush.com

Photo 2 courtesy of Kaboodle.com


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