A good way to gain weight is to eat more than your body needs. But if adding pounds is the exact opposite of what you intend to do, then portion control can be the way to keep your body size in check. Scales, charts, and counting calories are one way to make sure you’re eating the right amounts, but they’re not exactly practical, especially when you’re away from your own kitchen. With the Holidays here and eating outside the home becoming more probable, finding tips and tricks on how to portion control should be on the top of your wish list. Don’t fret–we’ve got you covered!
Give Portions a Hand: You don’t need measuring cups to figure out meal and snack portions when your hands are the perfect tool.
- Meat: One serving is equal to the palm of your hand.
- Veggies: One serving is equal to your two hands together.
- Fruits and Grains: One serving of each is equal to one fist.
- Fat: One serving of healthy fat (ex. olive oil) is equal to the size of your thumb.
Lots of Small Meals: Saving room for a holiday meal, or even just a special night out with your mate is a sure fire way to super size your portions. When you feel like you’re starving, you tend not only to eat more than you should but also faster than you would a normal meal. Plan for small meals throughout the day–three meals and one or two snacks–to help keep hunger satisfied and keep meals smaller than your brain thinks they should be.
Seconds, Please: If willpower is a struggle for you when it comes to having seconds, beat it by taking less food the first time around. For your first plate , fill up on veggies and lean protein. If you’re hungry and want a second helping, grab more veggies and add small servings of grains and fruit.
Pare Down the Plate: Use a small plate, such as a dessert plate when eating your main meal. Portions naturally will be smaller since you can’t eat what your plate can’t hold. Small plate methods are a must when eating at potlucks and buffets–two staples of the holiday (over)eating season.
Pre-Doggie Bag It: Serving sizes at restaurant are often large enough to feed a small family. If you tend to be a plate clearer, ask the waitstaff to half the portion, putting the other half in a to-go container. You’ll eat less, and have perfectly portioned, tasty leftovers for a second meal later. You can do the same when you’re cooking. Before sitting down to eat, pack up “leftovers” so that you won’t be tempted by a second serving.
Portion control is a great way to keep you on track every day–holiday or not. And best of all, it could mean never having to skip out on some of your favorite foods. Just keep the servings small, and as the saying goes, everything is fine in moderation.
How do you keep portions in check? Share your tips in the comments!