Portion Control for Weight Loss
In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. One of the easiest ways to do that is to simply eat fewer calories. Reducing your portion sizes can allow you to enjoy the foods you’re accustomed to while still significantly reducing the number of calories you consume.
Portion Control Tips
- Know what a serving size is. Don’t assume that a bag of chips or a package of cookies is one serving – you might be surprised at how small an actual serving is. If you pay attention to the proper serving size, you can get into the habit of knowing when you’re eating too much. In addition, use household objects for comparison. For example, a three-ounce serving of protein is about the size of a deck of cards, and a one-cup serving of carbohydrates is about the size of a tennis ball.
- Change how you eat at restaurants. Restaurants are notorious for serving extra-large portions, but you can still enjoy eating out while practicing portion control. Many restaurants offer a lunch-sized portion that is significantly smaller than the dinner size, and many will also offer a children’s menu. A good idea for any meal at a restaurant is to ask the server for a to-go box as soon as you get your meal. Place half of your food in the box immediately, and only eat what’s left on your plate.
- Portion your snacks ahead of time. It can be easy to ignore portion control if you’re reaching for a quick snack when you’re already hungry. Stock your pantry with individually portioned snacks, either by purchasing them this way or dividing them up into plastic bags when you get home from the grocery store.
- Stay away from the buffet. It’s nearly impossible to have any type of effective portion control, even if you have iron determination and willpower. If it’s the bargain price that’s attracting you, try cooking at home – it will cost less and you’ll be able to keep your portions to a healthy size.
Making small changes at every meal can help you significantly reduce the number of calories you eat every day, which will lead to weight loss over time.