Practice good portion control.
In order to learn portion control, you need to understand how much a serving size is and how many calories a serving contains. I, for one, use a kitchen scale but if I am out somewhere, I use visual references to help me figure out how much I am consuming. For example, one ounce of cheese is approximately the size of 4 dice. Here is a great guide to help you decipher it too.
Something that has really helped me was to think about my plate in sections. You can buy specific plates for this purpose but honestly, my family already thinks my "Food Nazi" behavior is a bit nutty so I am not sure this would go over really well here. Instead, I use this as a guideline and start by filling up half of my plate with veggies. Then, I add one serving of a protein and one serving of a starch food, such as potatoes or bread. Often, I will also add one serving of fruit to the side of the plate.
This meal is a 3 ounce pork chop with 1 tsp low fat ranch dressing and 1/8 cup of cheese on top, 1.5 servings of steamed veggies, and one serving of applesauce. After this hearty meal, I was full for hours. (442 calories for the record...)
Portion size and serving size ARE NOT the same thing, especially in a restaurant. As a practice, I ask for half of my restaurant meal to be wrapped up before it even hits the table. When at home, take a look at the label on each item to see what a "serving" is considered to be. More than likely, it's less than what you would want to eat. A year or so ago, I was trying to control my need for sweet by having a handful of chocolate chips after a meal. Then, one day, I took a look at the serving size. It was ONE TABLESPOON! I was easily throwing 2-3 servings into my body at one time. That's 140-210 calories down in a matter of 20 seconds.
Here are my top 5 tips for helping you to learn portion control:
1. Store leftovers in portioned out containers. When you reach into the fridge to get something from last night's dinner to reheat, you will be less inclined to eat more than a portion of it if it's already been done ahead of time.
2. Fill your plate before you sit and keep your seconds out of sight. I can't tell you how many times I used to reach for another portion of food, just because it was sitting in front of me.
3. Learn to eyeball portion sizes. Use that website listed above or get a scale and measure things out. After awhile you won't need the scale anymore.
4. Start with a salad. If you fill up with a salad before you eat, the fiber in it will give you the feeling of being full.
5. And best of all, treat yourself every once in awhile. Deprivation can easily lead to a binge so keep the cravings at bay by indulging in a small treat.
I hope this blog will help you learn how to control your portions which is one of the many steps you will need to take in order to become a healthier eater. Thanks for reading.