Is it a challenge for you to stick to a balanced diet and constant hunger to overcome? Research says that people tend to consume more food if served with a larger portion. For instance, if a burger is served on their plate, they will eat the whole burger as one meal without thinking about the calorie intake.
We also understand that it’s a natural tendency to finish whatever is served on the plate to pay due respect to food. However, many people get stuck because they mistakenly believe that they must dramatically cut the amount of food they eat to lose weight. Cutting down on food might also include cutting down on essential nutrients that the body needs. This is a direct outcome of imbalance in the body and, thus, no weight loss.
A Nutrition Hack for effective diet
One of the most effective nutrition hacks for leading a healthy life, dropping excess pounds, and keeping the weight off is paying close attention to serving sizes. The point is to figure out how much food your body actually requires and stick to that. Most of us tend to overeat and gain weight when we feel obligated to eat everything on our plates or when we dine at restaurants where the servings are larger. Losing weight and keeping track of what you are eating can be greatly helped by practicing portion management. In a word, yes!
Let us get something straight first. By itself, a calorie is not necessarily bad for you. In other words, it is merely a scientific method of measuring energy. On their own, calories do not pose any health risks. Calories are important for providing your body with the energy it requires. However, weight gain can result from eating too many calories without expending enough energy through physical activity.
Calorie Levels to Keep in Check
To successfully lose weight and keep your weight in strict control, controlling portion sizes is essential. Simply said, you need a specific number of calories daily for your body to perform its basic functions and remain alive. Calorie requirements vary from person to person based on many factors. Maintaining weight requires about 2000 calories per day for a woman while losing weight requires about 1500 calories per day. However, a typical male needs around 2500 calories per day to stay the same weight and around 2000 to shed a pound each week.
A more refined sense of portion control may take time to develop, especially when planning multi-course meals. However, the more you train, the more control you will have over how much you eat, and that is the secret to losing weight. You should eat the following foods in moderation, with no more than one serving per meal.
Factors Influencing Your Daily Calorie Intake
- Fitness level (exercise boosts your body’s calorie-burning potential)
- Diet (Your metabolism, which is what burns fat, can be influenced by specific foods included in your diet)
- Medications for both sexes (certain drugs can help or hurt your metabolism)
- Thickness of muscle (the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns)
- Hormonal inconsistencies
Concept of Macros and Nutrition
Calculating your macros is the first step in determining how much food you should eat to achieve your weight loss goals. You may be wondering, “What is this term macros all about?” Macro is the short form of “macronutrient.” There are 3 categories of nutrients you eat the most and provide you with most of your energy:
Macros measurement is as follows:
1 g carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 g protein = 4 calories
1 g fat = 9 calories
This explains why some foods are more in calories than others. It is not just about the total number of calories you consume but also about the quality of the meals you eat.
What to Include in Your Diet According to the Macros
Carbohydrates (or “carbs”) are a type of macronutrient found in meals like bread, rice, and potatoes that are used by the body to generate heat and energy. Carbohydrates can be broken down into three categories:
- Starches (found in vegetables, beans, grains, pasta, and bread)
- Sugars (found either naturally in fruits, milk, etc., or can be added to food, like granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, etc.)
- Fibers (found in beans, fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, etc.)
In general, it is preferable to consume more fiber and carbohydrates and less sugar, especially added sugar.
Proteins are the building blocks of all of our tissues and organs. Not only that, but proteins are essential for the proper functioning of hormones, the immune system, the digestive system, and the blood. Therefore, protein must be included in our daily diets if we want to grow and function normally. Humans require a certain number of specific amino acids, which are synthesized by the body from the protein we eat. Also, fat and carbs are necessary for the digestion of protein after ingestion.
Fat improves the flavor of food and makes us feel full for longer, but what benefits does fat provide to our bodies? Contrary to popular belief, fat is a vital ingredient in a healthy diet and nutrition. Although some “good fat” is necessary for proper bodily functioning and disease prevention, many typical diets contain significantly more fat than is healthy. Obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are just a few of the major health issues resulting from eating too much fat, the wrong kind of fat in particular.
Types of Fats
- Unsaturated Fats: The majority of experts agree that the healthiest fats are unsaturated fats. Vegetable oils are a good source of unsaturated fats, which are recommended for a healthy diet. Several health benefits are associated with these fats, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved levels of cholesterol.
- Saturated fats: At room temperature, these are often in a solid state. They are derived from animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, etc. Meats like beef, lamb, and pork are often high in saturated fat. Whole milk foods such as milk, butter, and cheese and products from poultry skin, palm oil, and other ingredients are included under this category.
- Hydrogenated and trans fats: These are produced artificially and utilized in many packaged meals. They are associated with a greater danger of developing high cholesterol and heart disease. When it comes to health, these fats are the worst of the bad. Trans fats are used in production because they lengthen the fat’s shelf life and make it more solid at room temperature.
Macros: How to Calculate Them?
What method do you use to figure out your macros? While you may do the math yourself, we suggest utilizing the IIFYM calculator (IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”), which accounts for your activity level, goals, nutrition intake, and more. Fast and accurate, it tells you how much of each macronutrient protein, fat, and carbohydrate you should take in daily to achieve your weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance goals.
Portion control tips to help you feel satisfied (not starving!):
- Consider eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and less of the high-calorie and high-fat meals like carbs, proteins, and fats.
- Drink as much water as you can. Your body may be giving you a signal that you are hungry when in fact, you are just dehydrated.
- You should save some of your food for later. Finish your meal if you are still hungry after 20 minutes. Keep it in the refrigerator for the time being and eat it later.
- Consume some munchies! Snacking on healthy munchies in between meals can help you feel satisfied with fewer calories. It is important, though, that the snacks you eat be nutritious.
- Check your macros to see if you are on the correct track. Use protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats to keep your energy levels up and avoid running on an empty stomach.
With proper portion control, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want; there are no forbidden foods. We hope the information we have provided above will give you the encouragement and agency you need to get through this.
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