Do you have trouble controlling portion sizes when you eat? I know I do! Over the years, portion sizes have increased like crazy so we’re used to seeing and eating larger portions. But just because the portions are bigger doesn’t mean we necessarily need that much food! I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard for me to even control my portion sizes at home, so for myself and for you I found 8 useful pointers on how we can get control over our portion distortion!
1. Avoid the Hungries
When you’re in the habit of eating meals and sensible snacks regularly, it’s a lot less likely that you’ll have issues controlling portion sizes at home or when you’re eating out. It makes sense that if you go hours without eating that your next meal will likely be ginormous and you’ll probably have a serious case of the hungries. So, try your best to eat meals regularly to fuel your body and avoid overeating!
2. Check Yourself
Avoid guessing how to control portion size and check a chart! There are lots of handy references that will guide you in measuring out exactly what a health portion is. Chances are we have become accustomed to the ever-growing portion sizes where it’s hard to tell exactly how much we should eat! Check out this chart from WebMD on what constitutes as a serving and how you can easily measure them out. There’s even a handy chart you can print and keep in your purse for reference! webmd.com
3. Downsize Plates
When you’re trying to practice portion size control make it a little easier on the eyes and downsize your plates. I went into shock when I saw what a healthy portion of pasta was so I started eating on smaller plates in order to get used to the reduced portion size. Once your eyes and stomach get used to eating smaller size, things will get much easier!
4. Go Halfsies
Controlling portion sizes can be so hard when you’re eating out! You want to treat yourself but you don’t want to go overboard by eating a portion that’ll feed two people! Make things a little easier on yourself by sharing a meal with someone, asking about a half size portion or boxing up half of your entree at the beginning of the meal.
5. Think outside the Plate
Practice good portion size control by rethinking your meals at restaurants. We don’t always have to order an entree in order for it to satisfy our hunger! If you see a pretty well-balanced appetizer (no samplers or twice baked potatoes!) that catches your eye, why not order it as your entree along with a soup or salad? This way, you get to try out different things while keeping your portions under control!
6. Listen to Your Body
Portion size control is also about listening to your body and recognizing when you’re truly full. Practice eating slowly, most experts will agree that it takes us 20 minutes to recognize that we're full. And if we finish our meal before the 20-minute mark, we can easily end up overeating! Try timing your next meal to see how fast you finish. I can easily finish mine in less than 10 minutes, yikes!
7. Use Your Utensils
You can easily control portion size by breaking out your measuring cups and spoons. I mentioned a portion control chart earlier and that can be helpful for some foods or when you’re eating out. But for those times you’re cooking at home, make sure you accurately measure out all of your ingredients. A little extra here and there might seem harmless but the fat and calories can sure add up!
8. Know Your Vocab
So we’ve been talking a lot about controlling portion sizes but there’s actually a difference between portion size and serving size that you should be aware of. Take a look at the nutrition information on any food item you have and you’ll see the serving size. According to Livestrong, a serving size is a referenced amount of food that allows you to compare the nutritional value of different foods whereas a portion size is the amount of a food that you choose to eat.
Controlling portion sizes isn’t all about losing weight, it’s essential to staying healthy! Getting our portion sizes under control requires us to make some changes in our lives and look at food in a different way, but it’s not impossible! Do you keep track of your portion sizes? Do you have any tips on how to control portion sizes?
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