5 Tips For Easy Portion Control
Lately, I've been REALLY fortunate to have began working with several clients who are ENTIRELY new to healthful eating. As a seasoned coach in this industry, this is providing me a unique opportunity to see, firsthand just how much impact mastering the BASICS (eating real food in appropriate amounts, moving more, drinking enough water) can be. I wanted to write a blog that focused just on SIMPLE ways in which to be more mindful about HOW MUCH YOU'RE EATING, without needing to put your food on a food scale or log the amount in an app. And even if you're a seasoned athlete or a veteran to dieting, don't forget that basic habits like these can play a very crucial role in your long term success.
1. MAKE THINGS IN MUFFIN TINS.
Muffin tins are the perfect serving size for so many foods! It’s like having your meal pre-portioned from the get-go. Try making some of your favorite foods in muffin tins – egg whites, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, burgers, oatmeal cups, turkey or beef meatballs and more! I personally like using the silicone muffin tins best because it’s easier to get the food out of the flexible cups.
2. USE SNACK BAGGIES. Science has shown when you have a huge amount of food in front of you, you are far more likely to exceed the allotted serving size (by a lot). And this makes sense. When we reach for food in a moment of hunger, we aren't necessarily well equipped with self control and the discipline to STOP when should. Take the time to divvy out individual portions of nuts, veggies, chopped fruit, crackers, trail mix, popcorn or other snacks into individual baggies. That way you still have a bag that is ready to grab, but you are far more likely to eat a reasonable amount.
3. LOOK AT SERVING SIZES. I'm always surprised at just how few people actually READ the label on the food they're eating. Most people admit they are actually VERY unaware of what a serving size is, and frankly, all you need to do is READ THE LABEL! When you actually start looking at the recommended serving size and measuring your food accordingly, you might be SHOCKED at just how much you were over-eating previously. Knowledge really is power. Even if it’s not the serving size you are hoping they will recommend, still at least look. Just raising that awareness will help you to be more conscious of the amount of food you are eating.
4. USE A SMALLER PLATE. This is a VERY simple and VERY effective mind trick. Studies have shown that this is a proven technique to help lower your portion sizes! Instead of using a large dinner-sized plate, use a smaller lunch plate instead. Instead of a big bowl, use a small bowl. Use smaller tupperware. We eat with our eyes as well and the more SPACE your food takes up on the plate, in the bowl, etc, the more SATISFIED you are with your meal even if the actual amount of food stayed the same. Your eyes play tricks on your stomach. Let that work to your advantage. Because your plate looks like it’s more full you will feel more full because it will seem like you ate more food.
5. DRINK WATER FIRST. Dehydration is another thing that does tricky things to our brain. Sometimes when we feel thirsty, our brain sends us the signal that we’re hungry, so we end up reaching for food when all we really need is some water. Drink some water and wait a few minutes before snacking. Not only that, but drinking a glass of water before meals can start filling our stomach before we begin eating and take away that edge of feeling starving as we dive into our first bite. It can help us feel full sooner and stop before we normally would.