Is Portion Control Sabotaging Your Diet

portion controlPortion control is one of the BIGGEST contributing factors when it comes to reaching your goals. Too much of anything is not a good thing.

Watching your portion size can absolutely mean the difference between success and failure in any weight loss or fitness journey.

It’s a lot easier thank you think! A lot of it comes down to what’s right in front of you when you sit down to eat!

Researchers in Australia studied 100 adults in a portion control study. After educating the participants on “eating slowly” and eating only until they were full, the researchers gave one group a 600-gram portion of macaroni and tomato sauce and the other group 350 grams of the exact same meal.

“Overall, the large-portion participants ate 34 percent more food than those given the smaller helping.”

This goes to show that even if you’re educated and know how to eat slowly, most people will eat what’s right in front of them! So the key here is to be mindful of what you put on your plate.

Here are 10 simple ways to keep your portions a healthy size:

1. Measure accurately. For foods and beverages, use gadgets like portion control cups, measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, or food scale.

2. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. ‘Ballpark’ food portion sizes by estimating serving sizes in comparison to known objects. For example, three ounces of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards. Click here for help with the portion control and size guide.

3. Use portion control dishware. Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held 8 ounces of soup actually holds 16, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.

4. Dish out your servings separately. Serve food from the stove onto plates rather than family-style at the table, which encourages seconds.

5. Make your own single-serving packs. Re-portion bulk quantities of favorite foods such as pasta, rice, and cereal into individual portions in zipper bags so that when you’re in the mood for some food you’ll instantly see the number of portions you’re preparing.

6. Add the milk before the coffee. When possible, put your (fat-free) milk into the cup before adding the hot beverage to better gauge the amount used.

7. Measure oil carefully. This is especially important because oil (even the healthful kinds like olive and safflower) have so many calories; don’t pour it directly into your cooking pan or over food.

8. Control portions when eating out. Eat half or share the meal with a friend. If eating a salad, ask for dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

9. Add vegetables. Eat a cup of low-calorie vegetable soup prior to eating a meal, or add vegetables to casseroles and sandwiches to add volume without a lot of calories.

10. Listen to your hunger cues. Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. “Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there,” says Clifford. “There will be more food at the next meal or snack!”

Your challenge this week is to pay close attention to your portion sizes and to focus on eating a little bit slower!

Are you up for the challenge this week!? Let me know in a comment below with your commitment!

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