Tips to Control Portion Sizes

TIPS TO CONTROL PORTION SIZES

 

Portion control

 

When most of us sit down to eat, the last thing we want to think about is portion control. But for anyone on a diet or just looking to maintain their current figure, that’s exactly what they should be doing. And we hate to break it to you, even if you think you’re eating the proper amount of food, you’re probably not. But it’s not totally your fault; with each passing year, plates become larger and “normal” portions double in size, making it all the more difficult to eyeball proper servings of caloric fare like ice cream, butter, and cheese. But no matter who or what is to blame, that doesn’t change the fact that overeating can seriously mess with your blood sugar and lead to weight gain.

There is a bit of good news, though: Simply cutting your portion sizes practically guarantees you’ll be able to fit back into your skinny jeans. To help you reel in your portions and live your healthiest life, we’ve compiled a list of the best science-backed tips and ingenious portion control products known to man. To shrink down to your goal weight, pick a tip or two that best fits into your lifestyle and then purchase a few products that can help you dole out the right amounts of your favorite foods.

1. Make Your Own Snack Packs

 

 

Outsmart your snack habit by pre-portioning everything from crackers and almonds to oatmeal and pasta as soon as you bring them home from the store. To stop yourself from going back for a second baggie of snacks, write the calorie count of the contents with a Sharpie nice and large! “Partitioning food prevents you from eating larger portions because stopping to open another package forces you to pay attention to how much you’re actually consuming. Keep caloric nibbles out of your kitchen and load up on some of these 50 Snacks with 50 Calories or Less instead. The less caloric a food is, the harder it is to overdo it!

 2. Don’t Skip Meals

The more your tummy is rumbling the more likely you’ll serve yourself and subsequently gobble down far too much food! Aim to eat something with protein, fiber and a bit of healthy fat every four hours or so, not only will this strategy help you avoid overeating, it will also help ward off that debilitating mid-afternoon slump.

 

 

 

3. Change Your Plate

 

The bigger your plate, the bigger your meal. Why? While smaller plates make food servings appear significantly larger, larger plates make food appear smaller, which can lead to overeating. Swapping dinner for salad plates (or even something closer to 9 or 10 inches in diameter) will help you eat more reasonable portions, which can help the pounds fly off your frame! To kick even more calories to the curb and ensure you’re eating the right amounts from each food group. Two of the quarters are for fruits and veggies; the others for whole grains and lean proteins.

4. Start a Food Journal

 

Next time you’re craving some after dinner sweets, try mentally reviewing everything you ate earlier in the day. Remembering what you ate activates your brain’s hippocampus, which may play a role in decision-making to help you say no to consuming extra calories. To tame your appetite, keep a food journal throughout the day and then review it before you reach for dessert. You may decide you don’t need that scoop of ice cream after all!

5. Use Measuring Cups and Scales

This way is an obvious old school trick, but using measuring cups and scales can help you learn what actual serving sizes look like. And just because you invest in these gadgets now doesn’t mean you have to use them forever. After you learn how many almonds make up a one-ounce serving and memorize what a cup of pasta should look like, you’ll be able to eyeball your portions more accurately moving forward.

 

 

 

7. Follow the ‘Half-Plate Rule’

Aim to have a vegetable with every meal. Better yet, try to fill half your plate with veggies or a mix of fruits and veggies. They add volume and nutrition to your meal without a lot of calories. Fill the rest of your plate with equal parts whole grains and lean protein. Even if you can’t measure out all the components of your meal, sticking to the plate rule ensures you’re getting the right ratio of nutrients for optimal health and weight loss. Eat a cup of low-calorie vegetable soup prior to eating a meal, or add vegetables to casseroles and sandwiches to add volume without a lot of calories.

7. Drink More Water

Adequate water intake is essential for all your body’s functions, and the more you drink, the easier it is to cut back on calories (without going hungry) and lose weight. Drinking two cups of water before each meal can help in weight control because the water filled up our bellies and curbs appetites. Get used to the taste of plain water!

 

 

 

 

 

 8. Portion With Your Hands

If all else fails,

Next time you’re whipping up a meal or pulling together a snack, look down at your hands and remember these three portion control cues:

  • A serving of fat should be about the size of your thumb
  • A true serving of rice or pasta is about the size of your fist
  • Lean meats should be about the size of your palm.

Sticking to the recommended serving size can help zap away excess pounds.

 

9. Up Your Protein

 

If you find yourself ravenously shoveling food in your mouth throughout the day, you’re likely not getting enough protein. People who eat a low-protein diet are often left feeling hungrier and end up consuming more calories throughout the day than those who consumed more of the muscle-building nutrient. The easiest way to add more protein; Make sure every snack you have throughout the day includes 5 to 15 grams of the nutrient. That might mean swapping out chips for an ounce of almonds (6 grams) or reaching for a Greek yogurt (15 grams) instead of an ice cream bar.

10. Consider Serving Size

 

Sure, this story is about portion size, but when it comes to keeping your portions in check, serving size is actually really important. What’s the difference? Serving sizes, which are often listed on the nutrition label, refer to how many servings are inside a bag or box of food. So for example, if a snack bag of popcorn has 130 calories per serving, and the bag has two servings, you’d actually be consuming 260 calories if you scarfed down the entire thing in one sitting. Read the label and proceed with caution because to consume far more than you bargained for.

 

11. Limit Your Choices

 

If measuring or thinking too hard isn’t really your thing, simply keep a smaller variety of foods in your house. As strange as it seems, keeping your options limited can help ward off overeating. The reason: too many options zap your willpower. That means avoiding buffets and only stocking your kitchen with your go-to staples. This ensures you’ll have plenty of portion willpower reserved when a coworker shows up with cupcakes or there’s a giant dessert table at a friend’s wedding.

12. Listen to Your Hunger Cues

Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there. There will be more food at the next meal or snack!

 

 

Hope you find these tips helpful. Enjoy your journey to a full tummy.

 

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