Why Weight Loss Is More About Eating Better, Not Less

Unlike popular belief, weight loss is not solely about eating less. Learn how bistroMD makes eating better an easy (and delicious) feat!

Why Weight Loss Is More About Eating Better, Not Less

Weight loss and health is not solely about eating less food, but rather consuming more foods that nourish the body. But portion sizes have substantially grown over the years, making it that much easier to overeat.

The evolution has ultimately misled the view of what portions should actually look like. It can lead to a misconception that eating even the healthiest of foods in excess is okay. While one should enjoy mostly whole foods, overeating on both sugary brownies and protein-rich chicken tenders can lead to weight gain.

The good news is there are tips and tricks to combat these growing amounts of food and ensure the body is receiving adequate nutrients from a variety of foods. These techniques can, in turn, control calories and optimize nutrient intake.

How to Control Portion Sizes

From using bistroMD meals as a learning tool to eating out sensibly, learn how to control portion sizes with these useful tips.

1. Use bistroMD Meals as a Learning Tool

BistroMD meals serve as a healthy, convenient meal, but they also can be a valuable learning tool. This is because meals are properly portioned and combine the right nutrients to keep the body satisfied.

After heating, plate the prepared food to visually notice how much room it takes up. When it comes time to plating your own food, you then have a feel of what true portions should look like. 

Having plated meals also elevates the entire dining experience!

2. Serve Meals Onto Smaller Plates

Though finishing everything on the plate reduces food waste, following that notion can result in overeating if meals are served on larger plates. 

Use smaller plates for mealtimes to keep portions in check, especially when serving meals beyond the bistroMD plan.

3. Use Portion Control Tools

Outside of the bistroMD program, portion control tools are helpful for measuring and ensuring proper portions for dieters alike. These tools come in a wide variety, including spoons, scales, and plates.

Portion control plates are helpful for allocating portions of the plate to certain food groups, including lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. They are also often durable storage containers, dishwasher-safe, and BPA-free for reuse. 

4. Learn How to Plate Balanced Meals

A chicken breast may be nutritious, yes, but it lacks other nutrients the body needs such as fiber and phytochemicals (beneficial compounds naturally sourced from plants). And a plate loaded with veggies lacks ample protein and healthy fats. 

Really, balancing foods and offering variety is essential for ensuring nutrient needs are naturally being met. It also helps naturally moderate portion sizes to keep calories in check. 

Build a balanced meal plate with these 4 simple steps:

Fill half the plate with non-starchy veggies, including salad greens, roasted cauliflower, and steamed broccoli.

Use a quarter of the plate for a whole grain or complex carbohydrates. This may include a serving of brown rice or small sweet potato.

Allot the remaining quarter for a lean protein source, including sirloin, chicken, or fish. Plant-based proteins include black beans, tofu, and chickpeas, though remember these sources can enhance overall carb content. As a benefit, though, they are rich in fiber!

Complement the plate with a healthy fat source, including a drizzle of olive oil or mixed nuts. 

5. Split Restaurant Meals When Dining Out

Life can and should be enjoyed outside of the bistroMD program. And dining out in a non-stressful and healthy manner is achievable!

One of the best ways to dine out while ensuring proper portions is by splitting restaurant meals. 

Because while you may be getting more bang for your buck, restaurant plates tend to be quite generous. Some meals may even be double or three times more than a recommended serving!

So to avoid trying to finish the plate and overeating calories, split with someone else at the table. You could also ask for a to-go box upfront and halve the meal before you start to eat. 

6. Compare Portions to Day-to-Day Objects

Unless filled with culinary experience, knowing what 3 ounces of chicken looks like is difficult without a food scale. For this reason, try to compare serving sizes to common objects and sizes. As an example, a 3-ounce serving of chicken is about the size of a deck of cards.

Knowing these eyeball measurements can be particularly useful when food labels and tools are not accessible. Use a food portion guide to learn common portion sizes as well.

7. Say "No" to the Bag

Well, besides those that come in a proportioned bistroMD snack bag! 

However, most do not realize a serving size is typically a smaller portion, not the entire chip bag. If you plan to go for packaged foods, be sure to stick to the portion size denoted on the nutrition label.

Measure out a proper serving, place in a separate bowl, and put up the bag or box. This lowers the temptation of eating one too many servings. 

8. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is increasing in popularity for weight loss and portion control. Instead of focusing on the quantity of food, mindfulness promotes listening to the body's natural hunger and satiety cues. It also encourages one to thoroughly enjoy food and how they impact physical, emotional, and mental health.

When sitting down to a bistroMD or any other meal, use these mindful eating tips:

  • Eat and chew foods slowly
  • Put the fork down between each bite
  • Avoid distractions while eating such as turning off the phone or television
  • Tune into internal hunger and satiety cues
  • Recognize feelings and emotions while eating
  • Appreciate the food at hand

Taken together, the practice encourages one to truly savor the experience of food by tuning into internal and external cues.

9. Stay Hydrated with Water

Keeping the body hydrated is important for weight loss in a number of ways, including sustaining vital metabolic functions. Dehydration can also be mistaken for hunger, which may lead to food intake when the body is actually craving water.

So instead of reaching for food when feeling hungry, drink a big glass of water. It can help the stomach feel full and lower the risk of overeating!

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