Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of regular exercise, choosing the right foods, and eating healthy portion sizes. In most cases, you can include any natural food in your diet, as long as you eat the appropriate portion. Unfortunately, controlling portion size is difficult, especially in a society where portions are often much larger than needed. Most people realize restaurant portions are excessive, but did you know you might actually receive four, five, or six times the amount considered a healthy portion when eating out? We are so desensitized to proper portion control, getting things under control is a tough challenge.
Easy Ways to Reduce Portion Sizes
Consider portion control a learning experience. As you adjust to proper portioning of your food, we have a portion size guide to help you out.
Here are 6 Easy Ways to Reduce Portion Sizes:
1. Use a Smaller Plate
This trick is an oldie but goody. The simple act of serving food on a smaller plate results in your eating a smaller portion. Fill the plate exactly as you would your regular plate. You automatically eat fewer calories at every meal. Join the Skinny Plate Club…read more.
2. Leave a Few Bites Behind
You can use this trick to reduce food portion sizes in place of or in conjunction with reducing your plate size. Instead of cleaning every last bite from your plate, leave two or three forkfuls behind. Depending on what you are eating this can save you a couple of hundred calories.
Sharing is especially useful when you are dining out. Instead of eating an entire entrée on your own, split it with your fellow diners. This cuts the calories by at least half, but still leaves you feeling satisfied. You can cut calories even more by sharing an appetizer instead of an entrée or by choosing the lunch or diet-sized portion offered by many restaurants.
4. Up the Greens
One of the most difficult things about reducing portion size is adjusting to eating less. You can fix this by filling your plate with greens. This solves a few problems. It helps you feel full while reducing the amount you are eating, it allows you to eat for the usual length of time you normally would, and it improves the health of your meal. Old habits die hard and swapping calorie-laden choices for low-cal greens can make a big difference.
One of the toughest challenges of cutting portions is snacking. Even the most conscientious dieter has a tendency to overeat when snacking. The trick to keeping control of your snack portions is to serve them ahead of time. You can use baggies to create your own snack-sized portions or purchase 100 calorie pre-packaged snacks when shopping. Find a few healthy snack ideas here.
6. Use Your Knife
Something as simple as cutting your food into smaller bites can help you reduce portion size. As mentioned earlier, one of the toughest challenges of dieting and adjusting to smaller portions is breaking old habits. By serving a smaller portion, but cutting it into the same number of bites you would usually eat, you trick your mind into believing nothing has changed.
For more delicious and nutritious recipes from Skinny Ms., check out our Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.
Are you working to live a healthier lifestyle? We’d love to hear about your journey. Tell us about it in our comments section below.