If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your body size, it’s not just about eating nutritious food but also making sure you’re not taking in too many calories due to portion size. And you’d be surprised by how common it is go over the appropriate portion size—sometimes you might even eat three or four servings instead of one!
For instance, do you ever look at the label on a bag of chips and weigh out the portion size, or you just reach into the bag and nosh? And when you dine out, the amount you’re given on a plate is huge—most burgers can be eight or ten ounces of meat when a burger should really just be around four ounces.
While it may take some time and willpower, you can cut back on portion size and train your stomach to require less food. This can help you reach your health and fitness goals where you can also sustain your progress long-term. Here are a few tips to help you control portions better.
Don’t Eat From the Bag
Instead of digging your hands into a bag of chips or even a healthy mix of nuts and seeds, portion out the set size as listed on the label and put the bag away. If you eat straight from the container, you will likely go overboard, since it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re actually eating.
Plus, if you’re eating while watching a movie or with friends, you might be distracted too and eat mindlessly. And this goes for nutritious foods too—it’s still calories and they add up.
Use Smaller Plates and Silverware
If you have large plates or utensils, you may simply eat larger portion sizes due to the amount of room you have on the plate. By trading in oversized plates for smaller ones, you have less surface area to fit the food on.
The same goes for utensils—a larger spoon puts more food in your mouth at once, which means you will likely finish your meal faster. And by eating too quickly you can’t register fullness and hunger cues as well, which can lead to grabbing another plate of food and overdoing it too!
By taking time to meal prep in the week, you can create set portion sizes for your meals and snacks in advance (this is a great tip if you’re dieting too!). This way you can avoid eating from the container and you will save time and energy without needing to think about how much you should eat, as the set amount will already be ready and waiting for you. Take the nuts out of the container and divide the entire amount into set portions you can stash in Ziploc bags. Build a lunchbox for easy weekdays at the office or when you’re on the go. Pretty soon you’ll feel satisfied eating one or two servings, as your body will adjust to the new volume and shrink, where it no longer needs as much food to feel full.