Portions & Weight

t's common knowledge that reducing food intake and increasing physical activity can help you to lose weight but it's not so easy when there are a lot of factors up against you.

One of those factors is portion size. Years of research has shown that people tend to eat more food when larger portions of food are on the table in front of the,. Portion control is important when you're trying to lose weight and keep it off.

"Psychologically, we are trained from a young age to consume what is in front of us. Whether it's our parents saying we are growing kids and need a lot of food or that larger portions are a sign of a healthy appetite or that it is polite not to waste the food we have been given. Even the plates we are served with can be oversized - it is ingrained within us to consume more than what our bodies actually need" says nutritionist Debra Melling of Men's Fitness.

So how do we change ingrained habits regarding portion size?

"There are some quick and easy steps we can take to reduce portion sizes" says our in-house nutritionist, Natasha. "Here are my 5 top tips to reducing your portion size without starving your body of what it needs to get through the day".

1. Buy smaller serving plates

This is the most simplest way to implement a change in portion size. Some plates and bowls can be absolutely massive and oversized. So try some smaller plates and bowls and you'll naturally end up putting less on the plate.

2. Save a portion for the next day's lunch

By having it in your mind that you need a portion for lunch tomorrow, you can reduce your current portion down by splitting it up into two meals.

3. Split your plate up

Try splitting the food groups on your plate into the following:

1/4 plate of protein (grilled chicken, fish, tofu, eggs etc)

1/4 plate of complex carbs (sweet potato, grains, )

1/2 plate of vegetables or salad

As vegetables and salad are naturally low in calories but high in fibre and other nutrients, filling up on these may help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods.