portion control tipsHave you noticed how large restaurant portions have become? It is easy for us to eat more than normal at a restaurant because we tend to eat what’s in front of us before we realize that we really are full. At home, you can easily get past the issue by serving yourself a normal portion and stopping at that. There some great tips and tricks for controlling your portions from the great folks at Cooking Light.

It’s not just oversized restaurant portions that cause us to lose track of our portions. There are other reasons why we don’t realize how much we’re eating. Mindless eating in front of the television or computer can also make us lose track of what we’ve eaten and not notice when we are full. Make sure to sit down at table away from distractions and enjoy your meal mindfully. See below for other portion control tips and tricks.

  1. Before Eating, Divide The Plate
    Here’s a simple rule to portion a plate properly: Divide it in half. Automatically fill one side with fruits or vegetables, leaving the rest for equal parts protein and starch. This way, you begin to see what a properly balanced meal looks like. Spaghetti and meatballs? Steak and potatoes? They’re only half a meal, incomplete without fruits and vegetables.
  2. Pre-Portion Tempting Treats
    The bigger the package, the more food you’ll pour out of it. When two groups were given half- or 1-pound bags of M&Ms to eat while watching TV, those given the 1-pound bag ate nearly twice as much.
  3. Downsize The Dishes
    If you’re one of the 54 percent of Americans who eat until their plates are clean, make sure those plates are modestly sized. On a standard 8- to 10-inch dinner plate, a portion of spaghetti looks like a meal. On a 12- to 14-inch dinner plate, it looks meager, so you’re likely to dish out a bigger portion to fill the plate. When researchers gave study participants 34- or 17-ounce bowls and told them to help themselves to ice cream, those with the bigger bowls dished out 31 percent more ice cream.
  4. Use Your Power For Good
    Most homes have a “nutritional gatekeeper” who controls 72 percent of the food eaten by everyone else. The person who chooses food, buys it, and prepares it wields power. If that’s you, take advantage of it.
  5. Think Before You Drink
    Pour cranberry juice into two glasses of equal volume: one short and wide, the other tall and thin. Most people pour 19 percent more cranberry juice in the short glass because the eye is a poor judge of volume in relation to height and width.

To see five additional portion control ideas, view the original article at Cooking Light.

Source: Cooking Light

Image Source: Sebastian Mary

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