I love food! I love cooking it, eating it, entertaining with it–even watching cooking shows about it on TV. But when good food is always around, it’s a sure bet that I’ll eat more than I realize. Judging from reader comments, I’m not alone in the over-eater’s club! It’s especially true for those of us who are eating not just for nourishment, but to ease the stresses and emotions we all face everyday.
So I’m re-visiting tried-and-true tools to help curb the amount of food I’m eating, and I thought I’d share some tips for portion control:
- Use smaller plates. Rather than reach for the larger dinner plate, use the salad-sized plate instead. That way, if you’re programmed to eat everything on your plate, you consume a lot less.
- Measure. Most of us eyeball the amount of food we put on our plates. But we often grab a whole lot more than the recommended portion sizes. For example, a single portion of rice is 1/2 cup. Be honest. When was the last time you ate such a modest portion?
- Read labels. Food packaging can be really deceiving! We assume a small bag of our favorite snacks like potato chips or cookies are a single serving, right? Read the label, my sistahs. Usually the small bags contain 2.5 servings. You’ll need to repackage your snack into the appropriate size portion before you chow down!
- Stop two bites before you’re full. Really! It takes a while for the stomach to register that you’re full, and let your brain know to stop eating. So slow dow, and let your tummy talk.
- Ask for a take-out container when eating out, to be delivered to the table at the same time your food arrives. Before you take even one bite, cut your food portions in half and shovel it into the container and set it aside. That way, you’ll eat less at that meal, and have food left over for another day–two meals for the price of one!
The American Cancer Society has a great article about portion control. Have a look at Controlling Portion Sizes.
Got any more tips on healthy eating habits? We’d love to hear from you!