by Preeti Khanuja __
It’s one thing to make resolutions about following complex diets or hitting the gym five times a week, but we all know that we are what we eat and there is no substitute to eating healthy.
The most effective step on your way to healthy living is to make sure you are not over doing or under doing your portion sizes.
But how much should we be eating?
Of course, the answer varies for every individual – as height, build and activity levels are all factors.
Many of us have been conditioned to eat bigger portion sizes right through our early years by parents or even by society.
But there are simple changes you can make to start reducing portion sizes and figuring out your body’s own needs.
If you have a larger plate of food, you are likely to finish it even if you aren’t really hungry anymore. Our stomach takes 20 minutes to figure out that it’s full and send that signal to our brain. But for most of us, our meals get wrapped up well before those 20 minutes.
1) Eat half a plate of green salad at every meal and the remaining half of the plate should constitute of fats, carbs and proteins. This little hack will also help give your skin a healthy glow.
2) Your snack size should match the size of your closed fist. We are likely to burn more calories in the late afternoon and early evening than in the morning and snacking smart can help you feel fuller for longer.
3) Eat a piece of fruit before every meal. Nutritionists say alternating colours of fruits is the key to get all your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. For example eating a banana for breakfast, orange before lunch and apple before dinners is a great way to snack .
4) Eat slowly. Bad news for those who grew up with greedy older siblings you could be doing yourself an injustice by stuffing your meals too quickly. Eating slower will suppress the hunger hormone. It is these hormones that sends messages to your brain to tell it you’ve eaten which will reduce your appetite.
This process takes about 20 minutes, so eating slowly will help give your brain time to receive these signals from the hormones.
5) Drink a glass of water half an hour before each meal. A lot of the time we think we are hungry when we are actually just dehydrated so drinking water first will help you recognise if you are truly ready to eat or not.
6) Include good fats into every meal. Good fats like avocado and nuts can be hugely beneficial. Fat increases feelings of fullness and takes up to 4hours to digest so helps you stay fuller for longer.
Why do we overestimate our portion sizes?
Portion sizes is mostly a habit that starts for most at an early age. The good news is, it is possible to retrain your brain and change the eating habits of a lifetime and what better time than the new year to get started?