Last Updated on March 30, 2017 by Matt Schmidt
Learning to eat healthy is one of the biggest challenges that anyone can face. Teaching yourself new eating habits and what to eat can be a difficult journey. One of the hardest parts is learning portion sizes and how much you SHOULD eat, not WANT to eat. As a diabetic, type 1 or type 2, it’s crucial to learn about correct portions, eating too much of something or too little can cause glucose levels do to crazy things.
It’s easy to sit down with a bag of chips and devour the whole thing while you’re watching TV, but this is one of the worst things you can do. It’s extremely important to be mindful of how much we eat. Learning portion control isn’t going to be the easiest or most fun thing you’ve ever done, but eventually, it will become second nature, and you can tell just by looking at it.
One of the best ways to control your portion sizes is to weigh your food using a scale. Weighing your food will give you an exact idea on exactly how much food you’re eating. This takes the guessing out of portion control. For some people, it might seem like overkill, but for diabetics, it’s extremely important to understand the number of carbs you’re eating.
A food scale is important for diabetics that are looking to carefully manage their diabetic. Once you use the food scale for a while, eventually you’ll be able to skip the scale and be able to make educated guesses on the amount of food you’re eating.
If you’re looking for an easy way to control your portion sizes without having to weigh your food, buy smaller dinner plates. Sounds crazy, right? Won’t you just go back and get seconds?
When you use a smaller plate, your brain thinks that you should fill the plate with food. If you get a smaller plate, you won’t have to cover the plate in food, which means you’ll eat less food.
Similar to getting smaller plates is going the divided plate method for portion control. Take your plate and divide it in half. One-half of the plate should be filled with vegetables. The other half divided again into quarters, one filled with a protein and the other quarter filled with a small portion of grains or starches. Starting out, you may want to physically divide the plate, but with more practice, you can do it visually.
Write it Down
Because we are so busy during the day, it’s easy to forget how much we’ve eaten or to forget about all those little snacks that we ate in-between meals. Instead of rushing throughout the day and eating whatever we can get our hands on, start writing down all of your meals and snacks.
For several weeks (or months) write down everything that you eat, from the smallest snack to those chips you eat right before bed. Most times people are surprised to see how much food they eat every day, and it can help to control portions.
If you’re like most Americans, you can sit down with a good movie and a bag of chips and go through the whole thing. But this mindless eating is awful for glucose levels and our waistlines. Instead of taking the whole bag with you, but a small portion in a snack bag or on a plate. This will force you to think about how many snacks you’ve had instead of eating the whole bag (and some).
Take it To-Go
What about when you’re at a restaurant? How can you control your portions when you aren’t doing the cooking or preparing? Aside from ordering small meals, there is one easy way to make sure that you don’t over-indulge on your night out, as soon as you order your food, ask them to box up half of your meal before it’s brought to you. Not only does this keep you from eating too much, but it also gives you a meal for the next day, it’s a win-win.
Portion Control for Diabetics
One of the best ways to keep your glucose levels in a healthy range is with a good diet. Aside from eating plenty of veggies and staying away from the sweets, portion control is a great technique for staying healthy and managing your diabetes. It might not always be fun, but portion control is extremely important, so break out that scale and weigh that ice cream you’re about to eat.