Portion control is essential to losing and maintaining weight. The basics of portion control include learning what a proper portion is and sticking to it. It doesn’t mean foods are off limits; in fact, limiting your foods can cause a binge when you crave them. Just keep them in the right amounts. The 3-Hour Diet uses proper portion control and pairs it with a 3 hour rule to help you lose weight quickly and effectively by boosting your metabolism. When you pair the two, you’re able to set an eating schedule so you don’t get overly hungry and self-sabotage.
The key to knowing proper portions is to read labels and know what the right portion looks like. For meat it’s about 4 oz. This is the size of your palm. For most starches, it’s about a half a cup. Veggies and fruits have no limits and you can eat as much as you want. For dairy snacks it’s about 1 oz., which is one string cheese, one piece of sliced cheese or about 1/2 shredded cheese. A good rule of thumb is half your plate is veggies and the other half is divided equally between your starch (which should be whole grains) and protein.
The 3-Hour Diet
The premise of this diet is all about timing. The general rules are:
- Eat withing 1 hour of rising in the morning
- Eat every three hours
- Stop eating three hours before you go to bed
- Each meal should end up about 400 calories
- No more than 1 tbs. of fat in each meal
This allows your body to burn what you eat and a bit more. If you’re eating plenty of the right things (fiber, whole grains, etc.) then you won’t be hungry after dinner and your body will continue burning while you sleep. People have reported successful weight loss with this diet, though metabolic rates may or may not change severely. Your fitness center may have the right equipment to test this or your doctor can if it’s a concern for you.
Good vs Bad Foods
While the 3-Hour Diet doesn’t really rule anything out, common sense and other nutritional experts tell us that our diet should consist of mostly whole grain, low-fat protein and dairy and plenty of fruits and veggies. You can definitely indulge in your “sometimes” foods so you don’t feel deprived. An ounce of dark chocolate is recommended for a daily treat and other favorites should be no more than once every couple of months.
We all slip up, but with the food freedom of this diet you can stop beating yourself up and learn to focus on portion control and timed eating. This method can help you lose weight and set you up for a better healthy eating for a long-term lifestyle change. As always, exercise is vital to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Portion control can limit your calorie intake, but you need to put in the effort to burn extra calories during your day.