8 Tips to Manage Your Portion Sizes
Limiting portions can help you manage your weight, and ultimately even avoid illness and other health issues. However, learning what a “correct” portion size is, and sticking to it, can be challenging.
- Don’t skip meals! If you’re starving, you’re more likely to reach for less than stellar foods options and overindulge. Try to keep yourself nourished throughout the day. For most people, the best plan is to eat three well-designed meals and one or two snacks.
- Learn to measure your portions. In our super-sized world, we often consume multiple servings at a meal. Did you know that a serving of grains is the size of your fist? Or that a serving of protein is the size of your palm? One tablespoon is the size of your thumb? The photo above will help you judge sizes better.
- Use the Power of Smaller Plates. Studies have shown that eating from a smaller plate tricks your brain into thinking you have a bigger meal to consume. Save your larger dinner plates for special occasions and serve your regular meals on a salad or side plate instead.
- Slow Down! It can take your body up to 20 minutes to register that you had enough to eat. Scarfing down your food will only have you reaching for that second helping more quickly. Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly also improves your digestive system, by giving your stomach more time to properly digest the food. Be mindful when you eat – focus on the smell, flavors, textures and take time to really enjoy every bite.
- Drink Up! Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated will prevent you from eating when you are not actually hungry, since hunger is very easily confused with thirst. Staying hydrated will also make your skin look radiant, keep your energy levels up and help keep your hunger at bay.
- Call them “Treats,” not “Cheats.” We all have foods that are simply too irresistible to avoid. For me, it’s any kind of nut butter! Calling them a “cheat” can cause feelings of guilt and remorse. Try reframing it and calling them treats. Enjoying a treat once in a while will keep you on track, help you to not feel deprived and can also help manage uncontrollable cravings.
- Get Enough Sleep! Make sure you are getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Many of us tend to eat more and crave simple (“bad”) carbs when we are tired. Our bodies are looking for a quick fix to the energy slumps we are feeling. Stick to complex carbs such as veggies, whole grains and leafy greens. Healthy fats such as avocado and nuts are also great options that will boost your energy and satisfy your hunger!
- Don’t Snack From The Bag. Read the label, serve yourself one portion in a bowl, then put the bag away!