You’ve probably heard the advice to be mindful of your portion sizes to lose weight, but is that still possible while enjoying your favourite South Asian foods? Yes!
If you’ve ever tried to guess how much rice to serve just one or two people, you’ll know that it’s easy to go overboard. Overeating leads to weight gain, and when you’re prediabetic it can be so important to maintain a healthy weight to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, so it’s important to stay in control of your portions. Here’s how.
Tip 1: Measure your staple foods
Investing in a few kitchen tools is a good idea when you start making healthy changes to your diet. Inexpensive digital kitchen scales and a set of measuring spoons is all you’ll need to make sure you’re not making too much food. Use them when preparing rice and lentils and when cooking with ghee or oil.
Tip 2: Include a variety of vegetables
Try and get a good mix of vegetables into your meals. This is a good idea both because vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, but also because you can bulk out meals to make dishes more satisfying. Doing this will make you feel fuller for longer while still managing your calorie intake. Good ideas include saag, tomatoes, gobi, bhindi and baingan.
Tip 3: Go easy on oil
Cooking with a lot of ghee or oil is easily done, but doing so can add hundreds of extra calories to your meals. Be mindful of how much you use and use measuring spoons to make sure you’re not using too much. Ghee is especially high in saturated fat, which is the kind of fat you need to cut down on, so try switching it for a small amount of sunflower oil or olive oil.
Tip 4: Use smaller plates
A trick that a lot of people swear by for reducing their portion sizes is to eat from a smaller plate. You’ll fit less food on a smaller plate, but it’ll still look full, which will satisfy your brain. It sounds weird, but research does seem to suggest that people tend to eat less when using smaller dishes.
Tip 5: Think about snacks
Snacks are a part of life and a good way of bridging the gap between meals. Get smart about snacks instead of trying to cut them out entirely. Go easy on fried snacks like samosas and pakoras, and pre-portion ones like roasted chickpeas, dried fruits and mixed nuts into individual containers.