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Portion Control

Want to know how the thin people do it? One major secret lies in portion control—devising ways to eat the right amount of food, no more, no less. Contrary to what many people think, using good portion control doesn’t mean you have to feel hungry all the time. Here are five tricks to get you feeling satisfied without taking in excess calories. Full PDF here.

1. Use plates, and keep them small.

Because your brain responds to visual cues, serving food on individual plates will minimize your temptation to go back for seconds.  Also, did you know that our grandmothers ate off dinner plates about two inches smaller in diameter on average?  Go for 8- to 10-inch dinner plates instead of 12- to 14-inch.

2. Fill up on fruits and veggies.

Or, start your meal with a sizable soup or salad. Foods with a high water content can help you feel that you’ve eaten more, while simply drinking water often doesn’t have the same effect. Try filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

friends sharing food together

3. Slow down and enjoy your food.

Many diet books point to the eating habits of Parisians, who tend to savor their food while enjoying conversation.  When you eat slower, you give your stomach more time to tell the brain it’s full.  No more guilty, self-reproachful eating—enjoy your meal!

4. Don’t skip meals.

If you let yourself get famished, you’ll be far more likely to lose control and overindulge at your next meal. Studies show people who eat regular meals are less likely to be overweight.  So forget “spoiling your dinner”—if you feel hungry in between meals, eat a healthy snack.

5. Use sandwich bags and containers.

Instead of eating out of the bag, box, bowl, or pot, go ahead and divvy up your food or leftovers into single servings using sandwich bags and/or containers. It will be quick and easy to grab, and you’ll be less susceptible to mindless eating.

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