How Meal Prep Can Help You With Portion Control
Trying to be healthier in 2023? You're not alone - losing weight and bettering one's health are often the most popular New Year's resolutions of any year. Of course, if you're looking to make these goals into realities, you'll need to break them down into more specific, achievable steps.
Resolving to better your overall sense of portion control can be a great way to maintain your weight and achieve broader health goals. Keeping your portions proper in your diet can be one of the most beneficial steps you can take, and one that far too many people overlook.
Meal prep is another practice you can take on that can help with portion control, among many other benefits. Why might meal prep be a practice you'll want to get into in 2023?
Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know.
Benefits of Portion Control
Why is portion control so important? While many people overlook it, it's truly one of the biggest nutrition hacks out there. No matter if you're looking to maintain weight or lose it - if you're looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, it's the perfect place to start.
The idea behind portion control is simply considering how much food your body needs and keeping your intake to that level.
Often, we eat more than we really need because we feel pressure to eat all that is on our plate. That may be because we're cooking a lot at home or it could be because the portions at restaurants are often so large.
We all operate quite easily on the sunk-cost fallacy. We know we've already paid for our food, so to leave it on the plate feels like a waste. As a result, we end up overeating and pushing past the kind of portions that could really benefit us.
This overeating often leads to worsening health and weight gain.
Portion control is the practice of combatting this kind of eating behavior. It requires identifying what's in the food we eat and setting certain limits when it comes to consumption.
Despite what a lot of people assume, portion control doesn't necessarily mean drastically decreasing the amount of food one eats.
It doesn't have to mean wasting food either. All it requires is a little more focused attention on your eating habits.
What Portion Control Looks Like
So what does starting portion control look like for the average person? It can all vary depending on the needs of each individual - their current health and their overall fitness goals.
The goal should be to take in the proper amount of carbs, protein, nutrients, and healthy fats for your body weight. You might need to do a little research ahead of time to determine what these values will be for you.
You can speak to a nutritionist or a health expert if you need advice or have trouble drawing these conclusions.
It's important to remember that these values are different for each individual and that there's no point in comparing your needs with anyone else's, even within your own family.
Once you understand your needs, you can build out a portion control philosophy. Read the serving size information on the food products you buy and determine how much of the above is in each serving.
Then, ensure you're matching the amount you're eating to your body's overall needs. Don't overdo your portions (but don't undersell yourself either!). In this way, you should be able to map out meals that perfectly meet your personal nutritional requirements.
How Meal Prep Can Help
Of course, managing perfectly balanced meals every day can start to feel like a lot of work. With the other needs of life, it's easy to fall behind and soon start slipping on your portion control goals - and perhaps your health goals as a whole.
The easy way to avoid this trap? Embrace the art of meal prep.
If you prepare your meals for the week ahead of time, you'll be able to craft perfect portioned meals all in one fell swoop.
An example? Perhaps over the weekend, you cook up a large amount of fish that you have. You know each smaller filet meets your protein requirements, so you split your filets up - one for each dinner this week.
You do the same for your other items - perhaps half a potato alongside the fish, a side of spinach, or a serving of beans. It will all vary depending on what you're cooking and your personal needs, but making your meals all at once can help to make the task of portion control feel so much more achievable.
It also can save you time during the week and lower your overall stress levels. You won't have to worry about cooking and planning while you juggle your workweek needs. Everything you need will already be prepared and tucked away for you.
Of course, if you don't have time for meal prep on your own, you can even have healthy, portion-appropriate meals delivered right to your door.
Building Nutrition and Reaching Body Goals
No matter what your health goals are for the new year, there's a good chance that practicing proper portion control can help you reach them.
The above information can help you understand the importance of portion control, and why smart meal prepping can help make this practice easier to roll into your weekly schedule.
Need more immediate help perfecting your new health-centric routine? Have questions about eating healthy? Give us a call anytime for help.