Meal planning for portion control

Meal Planning for Portion Control

by Offain Gunasekara & Medical Review Board

When it comes to losing weight or simply improving your diet, meal planning is one of the best ways to do so. Meal planning has many benefits, such as saving time and money, reducing stress, helping you avoid unhealthy foods and more. Planning your meals ahead of time can also help you manage your portion sizes, which can help you stick to your goals, lose weight and eventually maintain your ideal weight.

Importance of Portion Control

The body requires a certain amount of calories per day to function properly. Estimates range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for men. These calories will vary depending on age, weight, and daily activity level.

When you consume more calories than your body actually needs to survive, your body stores those extra calories as body fat. In order to lose weight, you will need to be in a caloric deficit. This means that you are consuming fewer calories than your body requires for maintenance of current body weight. To ensure you are eating what your body actually needs to function and thrive while also cutting calories, you should portion control your meals.

Portion Control for Weight Loss

Portion sizes in the United States have increased in size since the 1970s and are exceeding federal standards. These larger food portions could be a contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity[1] . Oversized portions, especially those served at restaurants, cause overeating, which ultimately leads to weight gain.

Portion control plays an important role in weight management by helping us identify how much we need to consume to meet our goals, whether that is weight loss or maintaining your current weight. This doesn’t mean you need to drastically reduce the amount of food you consume and deprive yourself of nutrients your body needs. Portion control can help you gauge how much food you are consuming in one sitting and help you avoid overeating.

Portion Control Tips

It is important to eat portions that make you feel full and satisfied so you don’t end up binge eating later on. Additionally, if you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body’s metabolism slows down to conserve energy, which can lead to weight gain in the long run. Here are some portion control tips that can help you if you are just getting started.

  • Read all nutrition labels – Reading food labels can help you make informed food choices and help you understand how much of that food you should be consuming.
  • Plan your meals – With meal planning, you not only have complete control over what is in your food, but you also have full control over portion sizes. Go to your nearest grocery store and grab meal prep containers that have dividers to help you portion control your meals.
  • Measure your food – Use a kitchen scale or measuring cups to portion control your food. This will ensure that you are consuming enough protein, carbohydrates and fats throughout the day.
  • Use smaller plates – Using smaller plates can make it feel like you are enjoying a full meal even though you cut down on the food on your plate.

Getting Started

Meal planning and portion control can be overwhelming, especially when you are just getting started on your weight loss journey. We’ve partnered with registered dietitians to help you create a custom plan, choose recipes, and hold you accountable as you work towards your weight loss and health goals.

Ready to get started on your weight loss journey? Call 888-279-0099 today.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your practitioner or other qualified healthcare specialists when considering changes to your health, diet, or exercise routine. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice