Hunger and satiety are important contributors to portion control. Yet many of us have been told to ignore signals from our body that help us identify when we are hungry and when we are full. Here are 3 common mistakes on portion control and how you can begin to choose mindfulness with your plant-based diet.
1. Mistake #1: I must finish my plate.
We're all accustomed to hearing this one. For most, this is the first introduction to ignoring our hunger and satiety. You're telling yourself, I have to eat this much and finish my plate and how I feel doesn't matter. This is the opposite of mindfulness. It's important to know what hunger and fulness are and what they feel like for you. We all know the feeling of being too full and feeling uncomfortable. A simple solution is to eat only when you're truly hungry and stop when you feel satisfied. That is optimal for how much you should eat. Choosing how much food fills your plate is dependent on many factors, but only you can truly know how much that is and when it's time to start and stop. It's ideal to stop when you've had enough and not to push past full.
2. Mistake #2: I can eat as much as I want, as long as I avoid fat.
First of all, it's not good for you to overfill your stomach. And second, we all need healthy fats in our diet. Instead of training your stomach to want more and more, getting too accustomed to feeling uncomfortably full, and omitting an important food category or food group, it's best to go back to the mindful approach. Don't ignore your inner satiety signals. Eat a nutritionally dense whole-food plant-based diet, and make sure you're getting a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices.
3. Mistake #3: All of my food must be measured and weighed for proper portion control.
Healthy eating is not about perfection. While it's important to get an estimate of weight of food, you don't have to make it so rigid that you become consumed with getting each measurement exact. Use your fist as an estimate for one cup. Use your inside palm as an estimate for a half cup. Use your thumb as an estimate for a tablespoon measurement. You don't have to strive for perfection. Strive for progress, and remember to keep a mindful approach as you continue your whole-food plant-based journey.