Those amongst us who have had to lose weight know just what an impossible task it is. For every person who has successfully lost weight, there are at least 50 that failed to make any dent in their fat resources. Fad diets not only failed, many wrote to us that they ended up adding weight! Those who opted for fancy diet and exercise routines wrote in saying they found these too impractical and more often than not, impossible to understand and follow. So is there a simple, right way to natural weight loss? Absolutely! And this article will show you how.
Understanding Weight Gain and Countering It
First of all, let us acknowledge that weight gain is usually the result of ‘too much in and too little out’. We of course refer to energy, i.e. too much energy gained through food and too little energy utilized for daily activities. The difference gets stored as fat resulting in weight gain.
The answer therefore is quite obvious – either we control the quantum of food that goes in or we utilize more energy. Those who are aiming for natural weight loss, will in the short-term, have to do both.
Utilizing More Energy
The second part i.e. utilizing more energy is simple enough to understand – just increase your activity. How you achieve this is irrelevant. You could consider aerobics, swimming, cycling, walking, jogging, sports and so on – anything that takes your fancy. We of course have no idea as to your physical condition so before you start, we recommend you consult your family physician.
Controlling the Quantum of Food That Goes In
The first part to natural weight loss is controlling the quantum of food that we eat i.e. portion control. Let’s understand what portion control means.
What Portion Control Means
A normal adult needs about 2,000 calories worth of food per day. This food must come from all the food groups i.e. vegetables, fats, fruits, dairy products and meats in the proportion of: 30% Vegetables, 30% pulses and whole grains, 25% fruit, 10% meat, 5% dairy products. What does this mean? It means:
- During the day we must eat food from all the above food groups.
- The ratio of the various foods we eat must roughly match the ratios mentioned above.
- The quantum of food we eat should be roughly equivalent to 2000 calories (those wanting a natural weight loss should aim for 1,700 to 1,800 calories).
At this stage you are probably wondering how exactly you are supposed to achieve such fine tuning. Read on.
Achieving Portion Control
As with everything else, a little planning goes a long way to achieving portion control.
Planning our meals allows us to shop in advance for the ingredients and also results in meals that are more colourful, nutritious and varied. This last part is especially important because if our meals become monotonous, we might lose interest in it and might not eat as much as we should. Similarly, planning helps us guard against eating too much of the same food. After all, our body reacts both to excess, as well as deficit of a particular food group.
Selecting the Right Quantity – Visual Cues to Portion Control
Fruit – 1, medium sized or in case of small fruit; 1 cup.
Protein – 3 ounces (roughly the size of a Smartphone i.e. 2 inches wide, 4 inches long and about half inch thick).
Grains – 1 cup – size of your first (with fingers tucked in) or visualize a small orange.
Whole-Grain products: 1 ounce – single bread slice.
Vegetables - Cooked veggies: 1 cup – size of a baseball, raw veggies: 2 cups – size of two baseballs.
Low-Fat Dairy Milk, yogurt: 1 cup, Cheese: 1 ounce – size of a matchbox.
Nuts: 1 ounce – a shot glass full of nuts.
Nut Butter: 2 tablespoons – size of a wine cork.
Beans and Legumes: 1/2 cup – size of a computer mouse.
Fats (oil, butter, mayonnaise): 2 teaspoons – size of 2 dice.
You now know how much food to eat including individual quantities. If you still think it is complicated, we recommend a portion control set that consists of portion control plates, bowls, glasses and an easy to follow visual guide. It certainly takes the guessing out of portion control and makes it easier to adopt a healthier diet – the right way to natural weight loss.
Introducing Precise Portions, a dietitian-designed portion control dinnerware system that makes it easy to eat well. Taking the guesswork out of healthier eating; retraining you to eat the right amounts of the right foods, in the right proportion. In addition to the dinnerware, each set comes with Eat & Learn Nutrition Control System Disc. You can find more healthy eating information & practical tips on Precise Portions blog.