If you simply shrink the portions you are eating, most probably.
If you are eating smaller portions, but changing the types of food, probably not.
For example, if you are currently eating a veggie stir-fry with rice, and you change this to just the rice, chances are, you won’t lose weight, but gain instead.
If you want to lose weight by eating smaller portions, continue to eat exactly the same, but reduce your intake with the following actions:
- Buy and use smaller dinner plates and bowls. Humans are very visual. It has been scientifically proven time and time again that when we are given a big plate with a small amount of food, we don’t feel as full. However if you keep the food exactly the same, but serve it on a small plate, we report feeling fuller. Use this to your advantage.
- Portion before serving. Put the leftovers into a container and into the fridge so you don’t overeat when you are full, but your eyes are still hungry. Then serve up your meal and watch your waistline shrink without much effort.
- Use your hand. When making meals, you want roughly two fist fulls of veggies, one palm of protein and one thumb of fat. If you are trying to lose weight, stick to carbohydrates like sweet potato – which will be part of your two fist fulls of veggies.
- Slow down, count your bites. Take a few deep breaths, get present and remain mindful when eating. Research shows that if you chew your food over 20+ times, you can lose 2-3kgs per year. How can it get easier than that!
- Stop when you are full, not when your plate is empty. I was brought up with a rule of ‘No leaving the table until your plate is empty’. As a result, I learnt to ignore my hunger cues for years. You and I, as adults, make our own choices, so this is no longer an excuse, but a habit that holds us back. While trying to kick this habit, I used to make sure that I left something on my plate. These days, I eat slower, and remain mindful so that I can receive my hunger cues. My eyes are still bigger than my stomach, so when I put too much coyo and granola in my bowl for breakfast (it happens a few times week) I simply put it in the fridge for later.
- Eat fibre rich foods. Fibre is SO important. Not only does it keep you fuller for longer, it also helps sweep your gut clean. Picture fibre as the broom that keeps your insides clean. Studies have proven that the less fibre in our diets, the more diseases and deficiencies are present. Eat your fruits and veggies with the skins on, and stick to whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice.
- Drink enough water. Yeah yeah, I know – you say? Well, stop knowing it and start doing it. I have been focusing on drinking 2L per day, and have noticed that I don’t get hungry between meals and need to snack anymore. Not only will you reduce your energy intake, but you will be increasing your water intake – and as we are 60% water, it is super important. PS. Did you know that the brain an heart are over 70% water? And the lungs over 80% water? Crazy to think how little we drink and what the body must be doing to survive!
What else can work without reducing your portions?
To be honest, most of the time, you need to eat more, to weigh less. This means filling up on veggies, and then eating the rest of your food. Your portion sizes can become physically bigger, but your energy intake is much lower. Plus, with your increase in vegetables, you will get an increase of much needed vitamins and minerals.
Finally, be sure to track what you eat. Every few months, keep a food diary for 7 days and rate your energy levels at each meal. This will show you foods that make you feel good, foods that make you feel sluggish and where you can make improvements.
If you are struggling with losing weight, try the tips above, or reach out to a coach you trust to help you along your journey.