Don’t Let Numbers Psyche You Out — What You Need to Know About Portion Control

Half of a Snickers bar. One avocado. Three heads of broccoli. Two onions. Four Tootsie Pops. Or eight Hershey’s Kisses. This is what 200 calories look like.

It can be difficult to know exactly how many calories you are consuming, even if you’re looking at what you’re eating! Yet understanding what you’re eating is essential when you have a healthy goal in mind. Calories create energy and consuming the right amount allows you to function at your peak performance.

Monitoring calories also allows you to remain mindful of what and how much you’re eating. Counting calories can lead to a healthy, sustained life but it is also important to note that foods low in calories can often be unhealthy such as Coke Zero, gummies, and sugary energy bars.

Thus while monitoring calories can prove important, it is essential to eat enough vitamins and minerals. If you’re counting calories to lose weight but eating foods high in fat such as bacon, avocado, and full-fat cheese, you could consume half your day’s allocated fat intake by the end of breakfast.

Additionally, eating slowly is a simple and effective way to prevent overeating. It takes about 20 minutes from the time we start eating for our brains to send signals of fullness [1]. Not only does eating slowly improve our ability to recognize when we’re full but it will let us savor the taste of our food. Fads such as juice cleanses often deprive us of feeling satisfied after meals and resultantly have us reverting back to unhealthy habits.

Ultimately, the most meaningful progress is when we feel healthy. It is when we feel confident and strong in our own body; not necessarily when our body fits into size zero jeans. It is possible to feel strong and confident in your body even when the scale shows a higher or lower number than you initially aimed for. Think about it — fat and muscle manifest in the same number.

Visualize where you want to be and make a realistic plan to execute your vision. It is impossible to conquer your goal in one day or one week and demanding unrealistic goals for yourself will only lessen your self-esteem. What you put into your body will emerge, but it will take time to see results.

Making an undying commitment to health will result in permanent love for yourself and your body. Your body is where you live. Why partake in diets and cleanses that are not sustainable?

While counting calories and measuring additional nutritional information prove important, manual tracking methods are time consuming. Fortunately, you can indulge in the taste of your food and remain present during your meals by allowing SmartPlate to do all the counting for you. Living healthily should not feel like math class! Enjoy your meals again!

If you’re ready to gain autonomy over your health, visit getsmartplate.com for more information on how SmartPlate can serve your future.

[1] http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/slow-down-you-eat-too-fast#1 [2] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/tips/advice/social-media-weightloss/ [3] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/when-to-use-workout-tech