Restaurants and grocery stores are dishing up bigger portions today. That’s one reason why you may be eating more than you realize if you’re looking up single servings on standard calorie charts.
In fact, those super-sized muffins and burgers are encouraging you to eat more. Studies show that we tend to help ourselves to extra food when there’s more on the table. Turn things around by learning to size up your plate. Try these tips for portion control at home and eating out.
Tips for Portion Control When Eating at Home
- Plate your meals. Leave the serving bowls in the kitchen at dinner time. Take one plate of food to the table. You’ll be less tempted to go back for seconds or keep nibbling.
- Freeze leftovers. You can still save time by preparing a big batch of chili or soup to cover you for a week or more. Just put aside the leftovers immediately by sticking them in the freezer.
- Divide up economy packs. Why pass up the savings on the larger boxes of cereal or peanuts? You can spend less and stick to your diet by creating your own smaller snack packs using plastic bags or containers.
- Downsize kitchenware. Tinier plates and pots can help too. Food looks more abundant on a salad plate.
- Spray your oils. It’s easy to underestimate how much cooking oil you’re using. Spray your frying pan instead of pouring liquid oil.
- Bake in muffin pans. Muffin pans can hold just about anything you bake in the oven. Your lasagna will automatically convert into servings that are about one half to three quarters of a cup.
- Take out your measuring cups. Speaking of cups, keep them handy while you’re in the kitchen. Rather than fussing around with a scale, pour your cereal into the cup to measure how much to eat.
- Put down the bag. Enjoy your chips or ice cream in moderation. You can slow yourself down by putting a single serving into a bowl instead of eating out of the container.
Tips for Portion Control When Eating Out
- Put half aside. Many restaurants try to please customers with endless pasta and lavish desserts. Chop four ounces off that 16 ounce steak. Push the rest to the side of your plate or ask for a bag to take it home.
- Share with friends. In fact, many entrees are so big they could feed more than one person. Order one seafood platter and request an extra plate to share it with a friend.
- Select half-portions. If you know it’s difficult for you to resist overeating, order less food. Check the menu to see if half portions are available. Ask the waiter how big the appetizers are.
- Indulge in fruits and vegetables. You can be less vigilant when you’re enjoying foods that are high in water and fiber content. Feel free to snack on apples and broccoli. An entire stalk of celery has only 6 calories.
- Fill up on first courses. Start dinner with soup or salad. That way you’ll be less hungry when it comes time for pizza or mashed potatoes.
- Eyeball serving sizes. Of course, it’s impractical to go around all day weighing every bite you eat. On the other hand, it’s easy to become familiar with serving sizes for typical foods. For example, 3 ounces of meat or tofu is about as big as a deck of cards.
Eat healthy and lose weight by managing your portion sizes. It’s a simple and effective way to enjoy the foods you love while you slim down.