5 Easy Tips For Portion Control
These last few weeks have been insane to say the least so it feels good to finally get back into the swing of things with blogging! With the summer coming, a friend thought it would be a good idea to discuss portion control, Thanks Mai Lyn! I, for one, have to really really really really try my hardest not to over do the eating. I'm going to pretend this is where your nodding your head, saying, "Me too" so I don't feel alone. Haha, seriously though, when people are trying to lose weight or maintain their figure, the first thought goes to exercising like crazy.
Exercising is great for trying to slim down and lose weight, however, combined with portion control with a balance diet, the results can be even more amazing. Just do not confuse portion control with an actually serving size you find on food labels because those are two completely different things. A portion is the actually amount of food you put on your plate. A serving size is specific amount of food defined by common measurements, usually cups or tablespoons.
By understanding portion controls and how to use them, you can have a better understanding of what your putting into your body and how much! Below are a few tips to help you out.
1) Portion Control Dishes
Here is a thought, have you even measured exactly how much your bowls and cups hold in your kitchen? That super cute bowl you thought was about 8oz, actually holds around 16oz? How about finding out your favorite mug holds around 16-18oz? All this sums up to the fact that, in each sitting, your eating around 2 servings instead of the 1 serving you thought you were eating. Going back for seconds? That comes out to 4 whole servings in one sitting. There are two ways you can fix this:
- Simply find out how much your current dishes hold so that way, your more aware of what your consuming.
- If your willpower is nonexistent at this point, invest in some more portion control items like these from Portionmate. Check them out here on amazon.(click photo)
2) Invest In Smaller Plates
Speaking of portion control dishes, it may be helpful to invest in smaller plates for your household. Back in the 1960s, the standard size plate was around 9in and today the standard size plate is about 12in. This can become a bit of a problem if your apart of the "clean plate club" because those extra inches add up to extra calories. By scaling down your plate, your less likely to overeat at mealtimes, especially dinner. Luckily, people are taking notice and making plates that are both small and decorative. Need even more help? Check out these awesome portion control plates for adults on Amazon.
3) Quit Snacking Out The Bag
This use to be a horrible habit of mine simple because I was super lazy. When your at home, who has time to grab a bowl? This little habit can add up the calories really fast simple because it is mindless snacking at its finest, especially if your in front of a tv. The best thing you can do in this situation is when you get home from the store, go ahead and portion out your snacks according to that nice little food label on the back. Look, the company has done all the work for you as far as how much is an actual serving size, you just have to understand how to read it.
Check out my blog post The Frustration With Food Labels for a better understanding of how to read a label. I found that plastic snack ziplock bags are the perfect size. I will admit that snack bags like that can be so wasteful but they do make reusable snack bags like these on amazon.com.
4) Develop Better Habits for Eating Out
When your eating out, you really want to enjoy your nice meal that you didn't have to prepare but that does not mean you shouldn't watch what you eat. Restaurant portion tend to be very large and usually one plate can be 3-4 servings alone! I myself consider eating out a huge treat so most of the time, I will splurge on something thats not really good for me but I will still use the following tips to make sure I do not over eat.
- Fill up on greens first. Getting a salad? Ask for dressing on the side, dip your fork in the dressing then in the greens.
- If you know your going to have a naughty meal, avoid drinking extra calories, order water!
- After your meal comes, ask the waiter for a to-go box and place half your meal in there for a yummy meal tomorrow.
- Want dessert? Get one to share! That way your finishing with a sweet treat but not all the calories.
5) Learn to Eyeball Serving Sizes
Hands down, this is probably one of the easiest yet one of the most helpful things you can do to control your portion sizes. For example, your serving size of meat should be no bigger then a deck of cards. Now, wait a minute before you start picturing exactly how big a deck of cards is and think your gonna starve. I know, it seems tiny but America has really narrowed our minds as to what size we actually need.
Everything is super sized today so it may take some time to train your body and mind on the idea. Using my hands is a great way to explain portion sizes and it works so well when I am teaching children about portion control. Hands are a great tool because more then likely, your hands are made for your body type.
Example, the palm of your hand works as a great judge in how big your portion of meet should be. A man's portion of meat obviously will be bigger then a woman because more then likely his hand will be much larger.