Portion Control tips:

18 Jan

Do you ever feel obligated to finish everything on your plate, even if you’re not hungry? Formed with good intentions, this concept can cause more harm than good in this time of absurd portions.  Half of us eat everything on their plates, regardless of size. Problem is, a typical dinner plate holds three serving of spaghetti, not just one. Want to cut calories?  A better strategy is to find ways to put less on your plate to begin with.

One of the most important steps in weight loss (and keeping it off) begins in the kitchen or eating out places.  The easiest way is to greatly reduce the portion size of meals.


Here are a few tips for controlling your portion sizes. All these options can help you to safe weight and the most important is control the weight.

* Use smaller plates and bowls. There’s a proven link between the perceived size of food and appetite.

* Serve dinner by the plate, rather than family style (serving dishes on the table), you’ll be less tempted to load up on second servings if they’re not right in front of you.

* Use blended food.

* Order an appetizer as an entree. Remember to stay away from fried foods though.

* Order from the lunch menu at dinnertime.

*Leftovers are okay. Ask the server to wrap up half your meal before bringing it out.

* Order smaller sizes such as a half-order of pasta or a “petite” cut of meat. Even so, portions may still be hefty. It’s not unusual for a “smaller” portion of meat to be an 8-ounce serving.

* Pay attention to what you’re eating. You’ll eat more if you’re mindlessly grazing or staring at the TV.

* If you like to snack while watching TV, measure out one serving of your snack – don’t take a whole bag of chips with you into your TV room.

* Learn to read food labels, but be careful. Serving sizes can be misleading (for example, a can of cola is technically two servings.)

* If you eat at a restaurant, ask for a container and take half of your meal home, or split your meal with your dining partner.

* If you like to snack while watching TV, measure out one serving of your snack – don’t take a whole bag of chips with you into your TV room.

* Eat low-calorie foods first. Start your meal with a clear soup or green salad to ease your hunger a bit so that you aren’t as likely to over eat.

As you cut down portions, you may feel a little hungry at first. To offset this temporary hunger without eating more:

* Drink more water

* Eat fiber-loaded foods- add extra servings of nutrient-dense vegetables like carrots, green beans and celery. While one-half cup of rice or pasta has about 100 calories, one-half cup of green beans has only 14 calories.

* Eat slowly, put the fork down between bites

Portions Verses Servings

Although many people use these words interchangeably, portion and serving are not always the same. A portion is any amount of a certain food you choose to put on your plate, while a serving is a recommended amount of food based on health and nutrition guides.

To lose weight on a regular basis you need to eat foods we call ‘slimming sensations’. These foods are low in processed sugar and fat and provide your body with the necessary nutrients. As you continue to lose weight, feel confident enough to include an occasional (small) slice of your favorite cake or share dessert with a friend. Your weight loss will continue even with a small portion of something you love.

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