10 Easy Portion Control Tips to Manage Your Weight

Portion Control Tips

Portion control is critical to managing your weight. Over the last few years, food portion sizes have increased at many restaurants, supermarkets and vending machines in the United States.

Consumers are constantly being pressured to “super-size” their drinks and meals whether shopping or eating out. If they reject the offer, it’s frowned upon.

Research shows that larger portion sizes prevent people from knowing exactly how much they are eating. As a result, when people are faced with larger portion sizes, they casually consume more calories without knowing it… especially when eating high-calorie foods.

It is important to understand how portion size can quickly translate into excess calories and derail your weight control efforts. The good news is that with a little practice, portion control is easy to do and can help you be successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

10 Easy Tips to Help You Avoid Portion Control Pitfalls

1. Read nutrition labels closely
All packaged foods are required by law to provide a nutrition facts label. Checking food labels can help you understand that portion sizes are often larger than you think. Many times, a package has more than one serving.

2. Measure all portions
Use measuring gadgets (cup, tablespoon, and teaspoon, food scale) to monitor your food and beverage intake.

3. Portion control dishware
Using portion control dishware such as plates, bowls and cups can help keep your portions and waistline in check. They will help you eat healthy while taking the guess work out of choosing the correct portion sizes. Interestingly, research shows that by using smaller plates or containers, you can trick your brain into feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.

4. Go ahead, spoil your dinner
We learned as children not to snack before a meal for fear of “spoiling our dinner.” Well, it’s time to forget that old rule. If you feel hungry between meals, eat a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit or a salad, to avoid overeating during your next meal.

5. Portion control in front of the TV
If you eat or snack in front of the TV, put the amount that you plan to eat into a bowl or container instead of eating straight from the package. It’s easy to overeat when your attention is focused on something else.

6. Portion control when eating in
To prevent the urge for a second serving, serve food from the stove onto individual plates, rather than family-style at the dinner table. By keeping excess food out of arms reach, you can avoid overeating.

7. Portion control when eating out
Many restaurants serve more food than one person needs in a single meal. Don’t worry; you can take control of the situation. Try one of these tips:

  • Control the amount of food you eat by sharing a meal with a friend.
  • Ask the server to “box up” half your meal before bringing it to the table.
  • Avoid drinking any type of soda.
  • Choose beverages without calories.
  • Drink water, sparkling water, coffee or unsweetened iced tea.
  • Drink fat-free or low-fat milk instead of 2% or whole milk.

8. Out of sight, out of mind
People tend to eat more when they have easy access to food. Make your home a “portion friendly zone.”

  • Get rid of the candy dish and replace it with a healthy fruit bowl.
  • Store tempting foods such as chips, cookies, sweets and ice cream out of eyesight on a high shelf or at the back of the freezer.
  • Move healthier foods to the front and at eye level.
  • If you shop in bulk, store excess foods in a place that’s not easy to access such as at the back of the pantry or on high shelves.

9. Be aware of large packages
The larger the package; the more people eat from it without consciously knowing it. To avoid overeating:

  • Don’t eat straight from the package.
  • Serve the food in zip bags or small containers.
  • Divide the contents into a few smaller portion-control containers.

10. Half your plate
Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you consume fewer calories and prevent weight gain. To increase your fruit and vegetable intake…

  • Make fruits and veggies your first choice of snack.
  • Try to steam vegetables instead of breading and frying.
  • Eat a salad with dinner.
  • Make a large salad as your main course.
  • Prepare a vegetable or broth-based soup as a main course.

Similar Posts