Sole distributor for BH Fitness commercial equipment in Ghana.
Gain control...of your portions

You eat well, consuming the requisite five helpings of fresh fruit and veg each day, restricting yourself to just the occasional doughnut at work. You exercise fairly regularly, swapping the car for a walk to the shops, jogging round the block or trying out a Zumba class.

You’ve even cut back on your alcohol intake and yet those tight clothes don’t feel any looser.

Why aren’t you losing weight?

Have you considered the reason could be due to not what you eat, but the amount you consume? Could it be you’re not losing weight because your portion sizes are simply too big?

Of course, the body requires sufficient fuel in order to function properly. The more active you are, the more energy you require – just consider an athlete’s high calorific, carbohydrate-laden diet as a case in point. It is essential that we eat the right amount. However, if you are not competing in the 100-metres hurdles, running the decathlon or rowing in the coxless pairs, you might be eating too much. As we all know, calories that aren’t burned up as energy turn to fat et voilà! No weight loss.

Reportedly, portion sizes have increased by up to 50 per cent over the last few decades, what with culinary influences from our cousins across the Atlantic. Next time you eat, look at your meal and be honest, is that plateful a bit excessive? If it is, don’t worry - there are plenty of easy ways to control your portions, all of which could help you fit more comfortably into those new jeans. Here are just a few:

Don’t buy ‘family-sized’ packs

It’s far too easy, as we can all no doubt attest, to open a family-sized packet of crisps and down the lot when you only intended to have a few. Similarly, that bag of cinema-sized Malteasers disappeared suspiciously quickly. Therefore, don’t buy big packets. If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it, so swap these so-called sharing packs for individual servings, enjoy that guilty pleasure with slightly less shame. Alternatively, pour a few snacks into a bowl, then tape the packet back up and replace in the cupboard, making it more of an effort to grab seconds.

Bulk up your meal

Pulses, a side salad or fresh vegetables can help bulk up a meal, making it go farther. A pasta dish that contains chunky-cut peppers, courgettes and mushrooms will fill you up without adding significantly to your carb intake. Similarly, add fruit to your cereal in the morning or to a reduced portion of low-fat ice cream.

Go small

There’s nothing worse than seeing a measly pile of food sitting pathetically in the centre of a plate. You’ll be dribbling about seconds before eating firsts. Thus taking a Lilliputian approach to cooking might psychologically trick your brain into believing you’re still eating a generous-sized amount. Cook using a small pan, as it won’t be able to accommodate the same quantity of food. Choose a smaller plate, which will make your reduced portion still appear sizeable. You could even go so far as eating with children’s cutlery to make the meal last longer, a trick of which Lord Alan Sugar is an advocate, apparently.

Drink water before the meal

Most of us don’t drink enough water, so this tip serves two purposes: hydration and satiation. Filling up on water prior to eating a meal will limit the amount you can consume, so pour yourself a glass.

It’s okay to leave food

Most of us will have been brought up not to leave food on our plates, with that threat of starving children guilt-tripping us into finishing every last bite. Even the cabbage. Old habits die hard and as adults, that same mentality persists, especially when grocery bills are increasing. However, it’s time we accepted that leaving food is okay. Instead, save the leftovers for lunch.

The great thing about portion control is that you can continue to eat the foods you love. If you want a cheese and tomato roll, then you can have one – provided ‘one’ is the operative word. We have a tendency to overeat, because we’re lucky enough to live in a country where food is abundant, but until we get those portion sizes under control, that excess weight is going nowhere.

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