A serving size can be difficult to estimate. The serving size of your meal controls the amount of food you eat. The amount of food you consume controls your weight. It is still important to eat a well-balanced diet, consisting of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat diary products, lean meats and healthy fats. But, even when eating the right foods, if you overeat just twenty calories at each square meal during a day, you will put on 6 pounds in a year. Here are the benefits of sticking to smaller serving sizes:
1. Losing Weight
This benefit is obvious – you consume fewer calories, you lose weight. Losing weight will make your body healthier and more efficient. If you are overweight, losing just 5% of your body weight lessens your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
2. Opportunity to Snack
Smaller serving sizes at major meals make it possible to incorporate a couple of snacks in your eating plan. By having more meals, you don’t face long periods between them. It is much easier to wait two hours till your next eating time than five hours.
3. Avoiding Blood Sugar Spikes
Having more meals a day with smaller portions keeps blood sugar levels steady. Keeping blood sugar leveled helps to adjust insulin production and to avoid or minimize the effects of an over-worked pancreas, even in people with normal weight.
4. Burning Fat Efficiently
When the period between meals is more than four hours, your body thinks that there is no food coming. In this case, your body goes into a survival mode and starts keeping every calorie in the form of extra fat. This process was very helpful for our ancestors, but not so today. You need your incoming calories to be used as energy and not stored as belly fat.
5. Avoiding Digestive Problems
Overeating causes a lot of stress for digestive tract. Big meals are hard to process and food sits in the stomach for a long time without being digested. This may result in heartburn, bloating and other digestive problems. Smaller serving portions are easy to digest, convert into energy and eliminate.
6. Feeling Alert and Energetic
After a big meal, you may feel sluggish, tired and sleepy (think Thanksgiving dinner). All you want to do is go to bed or sit in front of TV. This kind of behavior is normal because your mind is almost shut down, digestive processes take over, and the excess food turns directly into fat. Smaller serving portions, as opposed to large ones, make you feel energetic and are easier to use as energy.
7. Opportunity to Have Comfort Foods
If you can keep the serving size of your comfort food small, you can eat any food you desire. Two pieces of bacon or a piece of pizza will not ruin your diet, but will relieve you of deprivation so often associated with diets.
The easiest way to have smaller servings is to use smaller plates. By switching to dessert plates instead of dinner ones, you can easily cut servings in third. You will not feel any deprivation since your plate will still look full. It is also helpful to get in a habit of quitting your meal when you are still a little hungry.