Portion control has gone haywire

by | Jul 2, 2015 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

I am ashamed to admit that when I first started my foray into losing weight without dieting, I did not know the feeling of hunger.

It’s shocking, but true.

I kept myself from ever feeling hungry. The next meal would hit my innards before my stomach even had a chance to growl.

How sad, because there is something deliciously sweet and satisfying about quenching grumbling hunger pangs. I only know that now, years and years after I first developed an overeating problem.

Closely related to hunger pangs and growling stomachs is how much we should be eating, and although I mastered the hunger experience, I have not successfully managed to conquer my portion distortions. Sigh.

Food portions then and now

It’s clear that most Americans have no idea how much they should be eating because the portions of food we ingest are way out of control.

And the fast-food trend of super sizing will probably only get worse as we get used to eating more and more, catering to our taste buds which never seem to stop craving.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, normal women (women who do not have food issues like overeaters, bulimics or anorexics) are eating 300 calories more every day than 20 years ago. For comparison’ sakes, 300 calories equals 4 slices of white bread.

To put it into perspective, a mere 100 extra calories a day equals a steady weight gain of 10 pounds a year.

 Why are we overeating?

Dr. David Spiegel, Professor at Stanford University, says that we overeat because our diets consist mostly of highly processed, nutrient depleted food which leaves us unsatisfied.

We incorrectly interpret the incessant call for more as hunger, when it’s really our bodies begging for the nutrients it needs from whole foods. The human digestive system still works the same as it did for our ancestors thousands of years ago, but our lifestyles and diet has changed considerably. It is this which has caused a tremendous amount of health issues and a dramatic increase in obesity.

Do portion control tools work?

what 1800 calories looks like

This is what 1800 calories a day looks like

A sedentary woman should only be eating 1800 calories a day, and a sedentary man 2200 calories a day. Anything more than that and in time, you can kiss your slim figure goodbye.

While calorie restriction certainly may be the answer to weight loss, it’s clear that dieting does not work.

From personal experience, I know that diets don’t work because there is more at play to being overweight than what goes into your mouth.

The biggest element of overeating and food addiction is the psychological aspect.

If you eat too much, and you dread giving up certain foods or decreasing the amounts you consume, you need to do a little self-analysis about why, i.e.

  • What empty spots is food fulfilling for you?
  • Why are you dependent on food?

Once you know the reason to that, you can start working on solutions.Be warned that every solution is likely to involve pain of some type because any habit – and especially food habits – are downright hard to stop. In fact, junk food addiction is tougher to break than cocaine addiction.

But there are things you can do to help make the habit-breaking easier, and using portion control plates is one of them.

Backing up a moment: one of the most powerful experiments I participated in when I first began learning how to identify real hunger, was to eat blindfolded until I felt satisfied. When the blindfold was removed, I was amazed at how much food I still had left on my plate – and trust me, leaving food on my plate was not the norm for me.

Portion control plates work in a similar psychological manner. Statistics prove that portion control plates work for weight loss. When a study was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health, the people who were served food on a large plate consumed 45% more than their counterparts who were served food from controlled portion plates.

In another study with Diabetes participants, it was observed that patients using portion control plates lost an average of 1.8% of weight while those that didn’t lost only 0.1% of weight.

To summarize: there is no magic wand to weight loss. And any method you choose is going to involve commitment on your part. But it is important to make the journey a fun one, and to use tools that help make it easier. One such way is with Precise Portions range of portion control products. Hey, they are pretty and fun to use. And will help you eat almost 50% less than you currently do, and eat more nutrient dense foods too.