The festive season is right around the corner and we all are searching for the answer to the age-old question, “Can I eat sweets during Diwali and burn it off after?” “Will eating one Gulab Jamun make me fat?” Well, spoiler alert, it won’t. This brings us to the topic of Portion Control.
As the name suggests, Portion Control means keeping the amount of food or a particular food item in check, whilst getting the full benefits from its nutrients. This stands true not only when you go out to eat, but also when you’re eating at home. This amount should be directly proportional to your satiety level whilst not making you under or overeat. The healthy to the unhealthy ratio of your food choices should be 80:20 and both of the choices demand being conscious of how much you’re eating.
Some people have the mindset that eating a lot of healthy food is equal to eating a lot less unhealthy food, but that is not entirely true. Your diet should include all colors of the spectrum, be it green for kale & spinach or brown for chocolate, as long as you eat mindfully. But how do I measure my portion? Do I just eyeball it? Yes and No. We all have heard the saying “ You eat with your eyes first”. Studies have found that eating out of a small plate tricks your brain into thinking that nothing has changed and you feel the same degree of fullness.
We all have looked at the back of packaged food items trying to see the recommended serving sizes and eating according to them. However, one needs to understand the difference between the serving sizes mentioned at the back of packed food items and portion sizes. A man weighing 85 kgs, a regular gym-goer will have different nutritional needs to maintain his body when compared to a 60 kgs man who maybe takes a walk once every 2 weeks.
Portion size is personal to you and yourself only, taking into consideration your past food habits and taking baby steps towards your goal. In a study conducted on healthy males and females, the researchers concluded that the human appetite control systems are challenged by highly palatable foods, which in the end can lead to weight gain. These foods include pre-packaged foods that are made into multiple units.While it may be easier said than done, letting your brain trump your heart while it wants a second serving of something might have a lot more benefits than you can imagine. Imbibing Portion control in your daily life will make you love life a little more, as it will be a world without restrictions. Except for the mental benefits, it also has countless physical health benefits such as improving digestion in your body, aiding weight loss, improving blood sugar levels, feeling fuller for longer & being more active altogether.
Controlling what you eat will also contribute towards producing minimal waste and will also help de-load the financial truck. We all have tried to substitute junk food in our daily calorie intake by skipping meals, sleeping hungry & being ravenous throughout the night. While this may work short-term, this way of life is not sustainable in the long run. Therefore one should live life by the motto, “Live to eat, and not eat to live”.