7 Portion Control Tips That Really Work!
One of the biggest problems we face when dieting is knowing just how much is too much. Fortunately, there are some easy to follow tips that you can start using right away which will put you on the path to success. Read on for some helpful tips on controlling your portions!
How much is too much?
Begin by aiming for rough sizes for all the important parts of your meal. Look for about four ounces of meat (about the size of a pack of cards), or a checkbook-sized portion of fish.
When having carbs with meal, make sure it’s no larger than about the size of a baseball. If they’re simple carbs like those you get from white breads or pastas, go even smaller — about the size of a tennis ball is a good bet.
Use each food group
The best plate has a variety of food from each of the important groups. To keep your diet on track, a great place to begin is by including a lean protein at every meal like skinless chicken, turkey, or tuna that’s about a quarter of your plate in size.
Another quarter should be carbohydrates, and you should do your best to stick to those that are whole grain. A big plate of simple carbs or spaghetti might sound nice, but we all know how quickly choices like these leave you hungry again.
The remainder of your meal should be vegetables, such as carrots, peas, sweetcorn or tomato. If you’re putting dairy on your plate, like cheese, think small, like the size of a match box — and also be sure to watch how much you use to top other options like salad or sandwiches!
Eat fiber-rich food
Good news: fiber-rich food is good for you and filling up on them means you’ll be less tempted to go for the sweeter, calorie-packed treats. The largest part of your plate should be made up of fruit or vegetables, so why not try a big salad with your protein?
There are plenty of ways you can spice up a salad of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Try adding new and exciting food like apples, nuts, capsicum, or low-fat dressings (in moderation). Eat your fill of tasty, low-cal options like corn on the cob — just skip dousing it in butter.
Be mindful of going for more
Controlling portion sizes may simply be a case of changing what you’re used to doing at mealtimes. If going for a second helping is something you’re in the habit of doing every time you eat, stop and break yourself of the habit.
Instead, play a quick game on your phone, take care of something around the house, or go for a walk. If you really feel you won’t be able to resist the temptation, brush your teeth and the desire’s sure to go away! In just a few weeks, having only one serving will become your norm.
Share the load
If you have a large main course when you’re eating out, try sharing with someone. By dividing the dish, you’re still able to try what’s on the menu while immediately cutting the calories you’re taking in. Share the load and you’ll also be doing your friend a favor.
Restaurants are well known for serving larger portions so you could also ask to take home some of what you’ve got instead of finishing all the food at the table. This way you’re not tempted to eat too much and you can save something delicious for later.
Divide and conquer
Divide larger bags of food, such as chips, into your own portion-sized packets at home by reading the label for the recommended amount for each serving or buy the food in smaller serving bags. The last option is more costly, but it’s worth it to get some portion control.
If the package says 20 pretzels per serving, stick to it. Whatever you do, don’t eat out of the bag! If you can’t control the urge, the best thing to do is not to buy it and have it in your cupboards in the first place!
To really keep control of your appetite, pick your veggies wisely. Some are not only great just because they’re low carb and low calorie, but also because they speed up your metabolism. That means you’ll burn more calories naturally every single day without changing your lifestyle at all.
Nutrition researcher John Barban has long been known for his focus on the inherent differences between men and women and how each responds to diet and exercise. He has recently started emphasizing what he calls the “5 wonder veggies for women.”
Studies showed that when women added these common vegetables to their diet, their metabolisms (and as a result, weight loss) increased significantly, regardless of the woman’s lifestyle or body shape. Learn the 5 veggies in this video (1:05 mark) that explains how it works.
Now that all sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? And hopefully you also see how these small changes can have a big effect on controlling the amount you eat. You may face this problem again in the future, so be sure to pin this so you’ll be able to remind yourself of these tips when needed!