Quick Tips on How to Control Your Portions When You Eat
Portion control is very important for weight loss and maintenance. The more you eat, the more calories you consume which in turn means the harder it is to keep your weight at a healthy number. While portion control is important, it’s also very challenging as people tend to simply eat as much as they want without thinking about how much they are eating at any given time. It’s also challenging because no one really wants to take the time to weigh and measure food before every single meal.
To control your portions, consider some quick and simple tips for every meal of the day. First, for breakfast, as soon as you buy a box of cereal measure out portions into small plastic zipper bags and mark on the bag the number of calories, fat grams, or other information you need to track. This makes it easy to just grab a zipper bag of your portion every morning.
You can do the same for meals you prepare in advance, such as chili, sauces, soup or stew. Measure out the portions for each meal and put them in individual reusable containers. You can then easily pop these in the microwave when you are ready to eat without having to worry about overeating. Do the same for snack foods like chips or crisps, popcorn, and so on. Measure out servings into plastic bags so you don’t eat an entire bag of crisps at once.
Often portion control is difficult when you go many hours without eating. This makes you hungry so you are likely to overeat at the next meal. Many people have this problem when they work all day; they are at a desk for four hours so they overeat during lunch and then have another four hours of working plus their commute, so they overeat at dinner. To help with this, spread out your eating throughout the day. Bring small healthy snacks you can have during the morning and afternoon to keep your hunger regulated. Reduced-calorie cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, fruit, raw vegetables with hummus for a dip, or reduced calorie peanut butter with whole wheat crackers are all filling foods that will help you to make it through your day.
This thinking can also be used when you sit down to have a meal. Instead of eating everything on your plate, take away half to have later. Save half the meat from your dinner for a snack to have before you go to bed, or cut your portion of spaghetti in half and save the rest for another meal. You may even find that you aren’t as hungry as you thought later in the day and don’t even eat that other portion.
Saving part of your meal is also good for when dining out, as restaurant portions are typically oversized and full of empty calories. Immediately ask for a take-out box when you receive your meal and put away at least a third of what you order. This will help you to control your portions when eating out so you can control your weight overall.