Effective portion control is an excellent strategy if you’re trying to lose weight. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? As long as you eat a small portion, many dietitians claim you can practically eat anything. Weight loss ultimately comes down to burning more calories than you consume. Effective portion control is key for lower-calorie and smaller versions of some of your favorite foods.
1. Measure out Your Portions
One of the most effective portion control methods is to physically measure out portions during meal time. For instance, for dinner you could measure 3-5 ounces of chicken, ½ cup of steamed brown rice, and 1 ½ cups of steamed broccoli. Mind you, you don’t need to measure out exact portions of your food forever! Only do so for a couple of weeks to get a feel for what standard portions actually look like. Pretty soon you’ll be able to eyeball a portion, eliminating the chance of overeating.
2. Use Smaller Dining Ware
Do you feel compelled to fill your plate at lunch or dinner? Studies show that using smaller sized plates, bowls, and cups during meals can help you eat as much as 30% less! The next time you need new china for your kitchen or dining room, opt for pieces that are smaller in size. Not only do they look much chicer, but they’ll also whittle your waistline.
3. Take Smaller Bites
Eating too quickly and taking large bites can definitely trigger you to gain weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re pacing yourself during the meals. Be mindful of how you eat, trying to take smaller bites. This isn’t to say you can only eat a grain of rice or a kernel of corn at a time, but rather take a more moderate approach to things. No one needs to be shoving fistfuls of food into their mouth, so try being a little more conscious of this at your next meal.
4. Buy Smaller Food Packages
Are you the kind of person that can instantly get lost in a giant bag of chips or crackers? Research indicates a treat every now and then can actually help you stay on track with your weight loss goals. As long as that treat is a small portion, by all means indulge! Buying individually wrapped packages is a great way to stay on track. If you want, you can even portion out your own servings into plastic bags.
5. Immediately Pack Unused Dinner Portions
This is a tip I learned from one of my friends who is a professional chef. Because he cooks for private clients, he has a habit of packing up the clients’ leftovers while they enjoy their dinner. Over time, his clients noticed how they had lost weight not only because of his healthy meals, but also because they weren’t tempted to eat seconds. You can try this same technique at home. As soon as you’ve measured out appropriate portions for your meal, put away any extra food.
6. Make Your Own Pre-Portioned Frozen Meals
One of the problems I originally encountered cooking for myself was all the leftovers I had. But after investing in some durable plastic containers, I found a way to transform my freezer into a homemade TV dinner center! Freezing individual portions of soup, chili, stew, and other dishes like homemade ice cream helps keep me in check when dinner time rolls around.
7. Bake Mini Portions
No one needs to be eating a muffin the size of their head. Those pastries you see at the local coffee shop are easily triple the size of a standard serving. Practice portion control at home by making mini versions of your favorite baked goods. Mini brownies, muffins, and cupcakes are all fun and easy to make, allowing you to indulge without feeling guilty.
Practicing portion control is a great way to manage your weight. What are some of your tips for better portion control?