Small portion of rice, brocolli and curried chicken in a pan

Portion Control

One of the simplest and most effective methods for controlling our calorie intake is portion control.

Often times, we eat what is on our plate rather than what our body needs. By knowing how much we need and deciding what goes on our plate, we are a lot more likely to succeed at controlling our diet.

For example, if your recommended daily caloric intake is 2,200 kcal and you’ve already consumed 1,500 kcal by dinner time, you should try to stay within 700 kcal for dinner.

An example of a meal that would meet that caloric intake is brown rice (137 kcal) + beef rendang (201 kcal) + sunny side up egg (109 kcal) + spinach (163 kcal), which would add up to 610 kcal.

Do also consider your physical output for the day. If it’s the weekend and all you did was sit in front of the TV all day, consider adjusting your portion downwards.

Instead of ordering a large bowl of prawn noodles at the hawker centre, for instance, you could order a smaller bowl instead.

Related: How Much to Eat at Each Meal?

Quality Not Quantity

Consuming the right number of calories is a good first step towards achieving a healthier body. However, not all calories are equal.

Keeping to the calorie count on a diet consisting of only sugary cakes or meat dishes is far from ideal. Our bodies need a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre in order to function properly.

One simple way to achieve this is to follow My Healthy Plate guidelines for a balanced meal.

Simply put, fill your plate with ½ portion of fruits and vegetables, ¼ portion of wholegrains and ¼ portion of meats or proteins.

Related: Cut 100 Calories From Each Meal Every Day — Without Going Hungry

Tips for Hitting Your Target

  1. Order less — There’s a tendency, especially when among friends, to order more food than necessary.

  2. Pack leftovers — Ordered too much? Don’t be afraid to ask for unfinished dishes to be packed for takeaway.

  3. Be flexible — If you’re going to have a big lunch, make up for it by cutting down on dinner or snacks.

  4. Keep snacks healthy — Try eating an apple instead of prawn crackers. It’s about eating smart.

  5. Choose healthier food options when eating out — Look out for food stalls and restaurants displaying the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS).

The recommended caloric intake for each person is different, depending on age, gender, weight and lifestyle. Find out how many calories you need a day with this useful calorie calculator.

Alternatively, download the Healthy365 app by HPB for iPhone or Android — a step tracker and food intake calculator that features an extensive database of local dishes.

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