No matter how much we try to control what we eat, there are times when we give in to temptation. When it comes to highly palatable foods, we often lose the challenge and eat more than we should, leading to weight gain.
Planning and preparing each meal ahead of time helps you stay true to your goals, but not everyone has time for that. Luckily, you can order pre-prepared and pre-portioned meal kits from various meal delivery services. With delivery services like Sunbasket or HelloFresh, you can set ingredient preferences and choose recipes to build your own weekly menu. You can even order oven-ready meals to make portion control and meal prep a breeze.
The benefits of portion control go beyond weight management. Here are 10 reasons why portion control is important for optimum health.
1. Better Digestion
When we overeat, we end up feeling stuffed, cramped, or bloated. Overeating can also lead to indigestion. To prevent such discomforts, try not to overload your digestive system.
Portion control eliminates cramps and stomach pain and helps the digestive system perform its functions more efficiently.
2. Improved Nutrition
When we plan our food intake thoughtfully, we tend to add in more healthy foods that contain fiber and probiotics, both of which improve digestion. A healthy balanced meal generally contains a serving of complex carbs (which contain plenty of fiber), protein, and veggies.
Add in a serving of probiotic-rich yogurt or kimchi to take your nutrition to the next level.
3. Balanced Blood Sugar
Portion control is vital for managing blood sugar levels. When we overeat, our blood sugar levels shoot up, creating imbalances. Over time, such unhealthy eating results in obesity, insulin resistance, and possibly even diabetes.
Skipping meals or eating too little is also a problem. You may end up feeling dizzy, and your sugar levels may dip too low, causing hypoglycemia. So, eat smaller meals made up of controlled portions to regulate your blood sugar levels in a healthy manner.
4. Increased Satiety
Portion control ensures you eat enough of the right foods, including healthy fats and protein. This will more than satisfy your hunger, leaving you with the satisfaction of having had a hearty meal. Protein is especially important for feeling full faster (1).
Eating quickly can confuse your brain and trick you into eating more. Pay attention to hunger cues and eat slowly, chewing your food well. This will increase satiety, and you will not want to eat more than your portion of food.
5. Reduced Desire to Binge
Practicing portion control reduces your desire for food, especially when you are bored or depressed. Eating less can make your stomach smaller, which helps reduce the amount of food you need to eat before feeling full.
Binge eating leads to overeating in most cases. Regularly practicing portion control makes you aware of how much you are eating. Over time, your appetite will reduce considerably. Therefore, even when you get into binge mode, you will feel full quickly. This will gradually reduce your desire to binge.
6. No More Post-Lunch Brain Fog
After a heavy lunch, we tend to feel sluggish, sleepy, and lethargic. An afternoon nap will definitely seem tempting at this point. To shake off the dreaded post-lunch brain fog, have a small but energizing lunch.
Rather than overload your digestive system, control your portions to ensure you are getting healthy, balanced nutrition.
7. Enjoy Healthy Alternatives
Rather than deprive yourself, try to incorporate healthy alternatives into your diet. You can have a gluten-free snack or healthy dessert instead of your usual choice to help prevent losing control and binge eating. As long as you practice portion control, you don't need to worry about weight gain.
Eating mindfully helps you differentiate emotional food cravings from physical hunger (2). Mindful eating involves paying attention to what you eat and avoiding distractions.
8. Reduced Food Waste
Practicing portion control significantly reduces food waste. Portion control starts with buying groceries, and there is no point in buying more groceries than necessary. Try to cook only as much as you need, based on your portion sizes.
9. Better Savings
Reduced food waste automatically translates into money saved. Healthy food and snacks last much longer when you eat smaller portions, which means you buy less. Rather than sit to eat with a full pack of nuts or trail mix, put your pre-planned portion in a small bowl and enjoy every bite.
10. Weight Loss
Weight loss is probably the most exciting benefit of portion control. Having nutritious, balanced meals with controlled portions reduces your calorie intake and helps shed those unwanted pounds.
An adequate intake of healthy fats, complex carbs, proteins, and fibrous vegetables ensures your nutrient requirements are met without adding unnecessary calories. This prevents food cravings and binge eating, helping you to achieve your fitness goals.
The main reason portion control is so important is because of the positive impact it has on your health. Eating in this manner helps you maintain a healthy weight and body shape. It also leads to better digestive health and balanced blood sugar levels.