When it comes to weight loss – how much you eat matters more than what you eat. Now, that doesn’t mean you should live on chocolate and chips. What you eat still determines how satisfied you will be, and how healthy you stay. So, let’s get acquainted with some portion control strategies and you may just meet your goals faster!
1) Pack unhealthy snacks in portion-controlled zip lock baggies. Use the food label for nutrition and serving size information and a measuring cup for accuracy.
2) Leave the container at the counter. Sitting down in front of the TV with a bag of chips or carton of ice cream can lead to mindless eating. It’s okay to indulge in your favorites; however, moderation is key. Put a serving on a plate or bowl and take it with you and enjoy!
3) Downsize your dinnerware. Using a smaller plate or bowl offers instant portion control. Studies show we eat more when we’re served more regardless of hunger level. My favorite portion control trick is to use a small (6-8 ounce) tea cup or coffee cup for ice cream.
4) Portion your plate without measuring. Use portion plates and fill half your plate with veggies, one quarter with whole grains and the other quarter with lean protein. If you need more prompting, check out http://www.theportionplate.com for a real version you can use at home.
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5) Measure foods a couple times per week to reconnect with what “normal” portions look like. It is easy to lose sight of what’s “normal” when portions are ever-growing.
6)Order smaller portions when out. Don’t be tricked into “value” meals. There is no value for your health! Try a kid-sized meal from a fast food restaurant, order off the a la carte menu or appetizer menu, and take some food home with you.
7) Individual portion-sized products are convenient if you have a hard time portioning. Try 100-calorie snack packs and frozen entrees to retrain your eyes and stomach.
8) Skip buffets! Again, when faced with more food, we usually take more food. If you can, choose a restaurant where you have more control such as a sandwich shop.
9) Ask for high-calorie condiments on the side so you can decide how much you want (or skip them all together). A tablespoon or two of salad dressing can cover a lot of salad when tossed!