Handy Tips for Portion Control

by November 26, 2012

portion-controlMany Americans are unaware of the fact that they are not losing weight because their portions are too large. Even once we learn about healthy portion sizes we may overlook portion control, simply because we aren’t preparing our own foods. With our busy lifestyles, many of us are eating out and not paying attention as we enjoy our meals.

Here are some tips to help control portion sizes and make sure you’re not overeating unintentionally.

Choose High Quality, Low Quantity Foods

Choose foods that are full of flavors and not fillers. By choosing real food you’ll find you are more satisfied than by choosing diet or fast-foods that are filled with chemicals.

High quality, flavorful foods will leave you feeling fuller and less likely to reach for a bag of chips in 10 minutes.

Take Your Time While Eating

Make your meals leisurely.  It takes your brain 20 minutes to receive the signal from your stomach that you are full. By slowing down wile you eat your body has the chance for the signal to be heard.

Take the time to chew each bite fully, put your fork down between bites or even take a sip of water to force yourself to become accustomed to a slower pace.

Reduce Distractions During Meals

One sure fire way to overeat is to be distracted when you’re eating. People who sit in front of a TV or computer screen while consuming meals aren’t paying attention to the amount of calories they are eating.

Turn off the distractions, put on some relaxing background music and have your meals at the dining table and you can be certain you’ll remember what you’ve eaten. If you have a family, take the opportunity to dine together and chat about the day.

Portion Our Your Food 

After going grocery shopping, split your purchases into the recommended portions for storage. If you’ve purchased a flat of ground beef, divide it up into single portions and transfer into freezer bags before storing.

Do this for your snack foods as well, if you’re reaching for a small bag of pretzels when you’re hungry there is less chance of over indulging if there’s only 100 calories in the bag you chose.

When you are serving your food out onto your plate, make sure to stick to the recommended portions, adding a dab here and there adds up quickly.

Watch What You Have at Parties

Attending a party is no excuse to overindulge. Be careful of the appetizers and alcohol, they add up quickly to unnecessary calories.

Guarantee you’ll have low calorie drink choices by bringing a diet soft drink, low calorie mocktail or sparkling water. Consider making a low calorie food option such as a salad, an appetizer or soup. Space out your nibbles and be sure to keep track of what you’re eating. Having fun with friends shouldn’t mean you end up eating too many calories.

At the Grocery Store

The golden rule of grocery shopping is never go when you’re hungry and this is even more important when you’re dieting. Keep a list with you of exactly what you are buying and stick to it.

When you’re at the grocery store steer clear of the sample items, they are always delicious and very rarely diet-friendly.

Learning portion control takes time but if you are focused and determined you can adopt these behaviors quickly and replace the bad habits of days gone by. Sticking to these behaviors will help set the foundation for your change of lifestyle.

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