Portion control is important to weight loss and controlling other health issues, but eating less is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes you have to trick your mind and body into playing by a new set of rules, and this is where there needs to be a constant, consistent focus. Here are five ways you can practice portion control starting right now.
Drink Water Before You Eat
Before you eat, drink some water to help fill you up. This will prevent you from overeating during your meal, and you’ll more than likely eat the right portions. With that being said, don’t drink too much or you will spoil your appetite. A glass of water before a meal should be enough to help you eat a reasonable portion. If you find that you need to add an extra half glass of water, then do so. Just don’t ruin the mood for the main meal.
Use a Smaller Plate
One simple way to practice portion control is to simply use smaller plates. Instead of that large platter you would normally load up with spaghetti, opt for a saucer or small bowl. Studies have shown that people can eat a significantly smaller portion and still feel satisfied if they see that their plate is full. This means that you can absolutely load up your plate, just use a smaller one.
Load Up On the Veggies
Vegetables are tasty, healthy fillers that you can feel good about over indulging in. Make the majority of your meal vegetables, and you won’t have to worry about the portions of other foods like carbs, meat and dessert. The vegetables will keep your hunger at bay, and leave less room for the fattening, less healthy foods. Try to eat veggies as an appetizer whenever possible.
Chewing your food slowly can help you eat smaller portions. Studies have shown that people who take their time to chew, taste, and enjoy their meals eat significantly less than those who mindlessly eat with little chewing. If you can’t seem to have a meal without rushing, set the mood. Eat in a quiet place and dim the lights a bit. Add a glass of wine and sip after each bite. You could also try counting the times that you chew. 20-30 times is a great start, and actually makes you a bit tired of eating after a while.
Split a Meal
Most restaurants give you more than enough food in an entree. Sharing a meal can help you keep the portions in check, and provide just enough food to satisfy you. This works particularly well when you’re planning to have an appetizer with the meal. That can be a lot of food, and people like to finish at least most of their appetizers before they start on the main tray. Sharing meals can cut the calories and keep you from overeating.
Staying on track with your health and fitness goals means doing a lot of things, including controlling the portions of food that you eat. These are simple tips that you can implement right now to get started, and practice regularly to stay healthy. A quick appointment with a registered dietician can also help give you more ideas on ways to eat less food. The key, however, is to just get started now.