How a Health Coach Can Help
Why Portion Control is the Key to Achieving an Ideal Weight
Calories in versus calories out….that is the determining factor in whether or not you can either achieve or maintain an ideal weight. When you carefully monitor your portion sizes, you are more likely to consume the appropriate amount of food. But even the most careful eaters and cooks allow their inner portion police to take a holiday. And that’s when the calories can really pile up.
There are many benefits to controlling the amount of food you consume. Some of these benefits include:
- Improving digestion and regularity
- Consuming fewer calories and achieving an ideal weight
- Conditioning your body to know when you are full after consuming a smaller quantity of food.
- Feeling more energetic after consuming the appropriate amount of food rather than after consuming portions that are too large.
There are many habits that can cause us to eat more than we had intended. Some of those habits include:
- Eating food straight from the box or bag.
- Having the misconception that one can of soda or one packaged granola bar is one serving. Check your labels. There can be 2-3 servings in each packaged item.
- Watching TV while eating or reading. This can lead to mindless eating.
- Believing we need to “clean our plate”.
- Not counting the calories we drink.
- “Forgetting” to include the calories we consume from the bread basket left on the table at our favorite restaurant.
- Telling ourselves that we’ll just eat that last of that apple pie and then it will be out of the house for good. (This is one I can relate to).
So now you know the benefits of controlling your portions and some of the habits that can cause you to consume more than you should. How do you get started down the right path?
Following the tips below can improve your success with retraining your mind and body to consume the appropriate amount of food at each meal.
- Learn what an appropriate portion size is and eat that amount.
- Don’t skip meals. We are less likely to consume an appropriate portion when we go into the meal “starving”.
- Measure and weigh your food. THIS STEP IS CRITICAL. We often don’t really know what a 1/2 cup of pasta looks like unless we physically measure it.
- Know your “Rule of Thumbs”….Your protein serving should be the size of a deck of cards. Your cereal “pour” should be the size of your fist.
- Read your labels. Many packaged items that look like it would be a “snack” size actually contain 2-3 servings.
- Use Portion Control Plates. These are plates with divided sections that enable one to visualize the appropriate amount of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates we should be consuming .
- Develop good “eating out” habits. Habits like removing the bread basket from the table. Ordering a small salad to start, filling up on your veggies first (asking for the dressing on the side of course). Asking your server to divide your order in half and either share with a friend or have the server place the other half in a to-go box for later.
- Plan all of your meals ahead of time, including snacks and beverages. Preparation is the key to success.
- Use a smaller plate for all of your meals and make half of the plate be full of veggies.
Consuming larger portions than we should is usually more out of habit than it is out of necessity. And changing bad habits can sometimes be more challenging to do on our own. Seeking out the help and advice of a professional can improve our chances for success. There are different professionals, like physicians, dietitians, nutritionists and health coaches, who can help you find success in changing this habit. A health coach is an ideal choice for helping your get your eating habits back on track.
Several ways a health coach can help you understand appropriate portion consumption include:
- A health coach can teach you how to weigh and measure your food appropriately.
- A health coach can teach you how to read food labels correctly.
- A health coach can help you discover the different habits you may have that leads you to consuming larger portions than you should.
- A health coach can help you find strategies to help you change these habits.
- A health coach can be your biggest support and “cheerleader” when you think changing this habit is “impossible”.
Practicing portion control is an essential element in being healthy. But portion control doesn’t mean starving yourself. It simply means retraining your mind and body to know what kind of food and how much is needed for you to live a long and healthy life.
Schedule a health coaching consult today and get your eating habits back on track tomorrow.