A healthy diet counts for a good portion of any weight loss effort, as many fad diets available in the world can show. Now, for those who find it unbearable to cut out a beloved foodstuff from their meals, there is a less painful yet just as healthy solution: portion control. Portion control can help dieters continue eating some of their favorites without having too much. This is also beneficial for those not looking to lose weight, as learning to eat smaller works not only to make people healthier but also benefit them financially.
One benefit from eating smaller is taking in fewer calories. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that people tend to unconsciously eat more when they are served more food or when filling up a large plate. By cutting down meal sizes, people can cut hundreds of calories from their usual helping. Another benefit is that eating lesser calories means having lesser sugar spikes and crashes. Eating a lot of calories can cause a raised blood sugar level, which the body responds to by releasing more insulin to lower it. However, once the sugar is cleared, a dip or sugar crash can make you crave for more food, thus resuming the cycle. Smaller portions are means to control these erratic sugar levels, and studies have shown that small meals are not associated with sugar spikes and crashes.
A study conducted by Dr. Gareth Hollands and his team proved that cutting food portions do work. They found that portion control can help control caloric intake. Portion control's effectiveness remained in question for years because of fragmented evidence, but with this study, Hollands believes the benefits are made clear.
"Helping people to avoid 'overserving' themselves or others with larger portions of food or drink by reducing their size, availability and appeal in shops, restaurants and in the home, is likely to be a good way of helping lots of people to reduce their risk of overeating," said Hollands. "There has also been a tendency to portray personal characteristics like being overweight or a lack of self-control as the main reason people overeat."
Cutting down portions and getting used to smaller meals will take knowledge, discipline and time getting used to. Nutritionist Leslie Beck advised beginners to switch to smaller plates and utensils, eat slowly, pile on fruits, vegetables and other low carbohydrate foods and store away second helpings. "Portion control is not about deprivation. Research shows that when we're served less food, we don't leave the table hungry." Beck said. "And once you begin to feel the benefits of eating smaller portions - weight loss, better digestion, more energy - you won't be tempted to ask for seconds."