A lot of people made New Year's resolutions to cut the calories and start getting healthy, myself included, which means that a lot of people are also interested in tips to cut portions while still feeling satisfied. When you start cutting your portion sizes, you're taking a step in the right direction, but no lie, it's tough. You have to train your brain, your body, and your belly to feel full with properly sized portions, when you might be used to larger portions than you really need. This is absolutely not about starving yourself or even walking away from your plate while you're still hungry. It's just learning about healthy tips to cut portions while still feeling full, satisfied, and nourished. Trust me, we'll do this together!
1. Eat up Your Veggies
You may be happy to know that some of the best tips to cut portions actually encourage you to eat more! In this case, fill up with veggies first. If you have a lovely salad with your dinner, eat up before you hit the rest of your entree. Fill up your plate with that delicious asparagus or those tasty green beans. Help yourself to more than one portion of veggies, in fact – make them the star attraction, not just a side!
2. Supplement with Snacks
You can also eat snacks during the day. In fact, you should. A lot of people have more luck with eating four to six smaller meals throughout the day, two to three of which are really snacks. Now, that doesn't mean you should reach for the potato chips or cookies; your snacks should still be healthy. The thing is, if you eat regularly throughout the day, then there's no need to create a heaping plate during your main meals. You won't be starving, so you won't be as tempted to overload at lunch or dinner.
3. Make It Romantic
It doesn't matter if you're eating with your date, your family, or all by yourself; creating a soothing, even romantic environment, can actually help you cut your portions. Dim the lights, light some candles, play some music, and make it a soothing, relaxing meal. This will make you eat slower, regardless of how much you have on your plate. When you eat slowly, as you'll see, you don't eat as much.
4. Colorful Food, Colorful Dinnerware
The color of your food makes a difference; so does the color of your plates. The more colorful your food, the healthier it is – minus things like glowing yellow mac and cheese, of course. If you're eating colorful foods, however, you're filling up on fruits and vegetables first. As for your dinnerware, choose the right color because it really will have an impact. You want contrasts, because that will show you how much you're eating. No mashed potatoes on white plates! You'll eat more of them without realizing it. Make your meals little works of art; your plates are your canvas, and they'll help hold you accountable! And don't forget that smaller plates and bowls will help as well.
5. Drink up
Do not pound water or, worse, apple cider vinegar or something before your meal. You don't want to replace nourishment with liquids, that's simply not healthy. However, drinking a glass of water before your meal will help make sure that your body doesn't mistake thirst for hunger, and it will give you a base on which to build. It's the best beverage while you're eating as well, because then you're not filling up on empty calories from soda or sugary iced tea.
6. Put It on a Plate
Well, or in a bowl. The point is, don't eat straight from any containers. No bags, no boxes, nothing like that. It's far easier to eat way too much when you're not looking at what you eat. It's also easy to snack on a bag of chips or pretzels and then, because it wasn't on a plate or in a bowl, you can tell yourself you're starving when you get to mealtimes. Hold yourself responsible; if you eat a snack, make it count.
7. Savor before You Swallow
As I mentioned, eating slowly is so much better for you. Take the time to savor each bite. Chew thoroughly; don't gulp. Let the flavors explode in your mouth, put your fork down between each bite, and really give your body time to realize that it feels full.
Although you're essentially training yourself to look at your portions differently, it really isn't that hard. You absolutely do not have to feel hungry all the time, especially if you make smart use of snack times. It's really about being kind to yourself, whether you're adding lots of veggies or having a romantic meal with yourself. Have you tried making your portions smaller? Is it difficult, or have you found the journey easy?