Thursday, February 7, 2013

Portion Control- A to Z Weight-Loss Tips for Long-Term Success - Tip P

Portion sizes are really out of hand these days. We love bargains and getting more for our money, but when it comes to food, we are getting more Calories than we need. This "portion distortion" occurs when we dine out and when eating at home.

Portion Control is probably the biggest factor and ally in the battle of the bulge.  Of course, healthy food choices are important too, but if we consume the right-sized portions for our individual Calorie needs, then we can reduce the unwanted, extra Calories we consume daily.
By making a few small changes in HOW we eat, we can really reduce HOW MUCH we eat.  Here is a list of tips and tricks that can really help you reduce the portion sizes of your meals and snacks, thereby reducing the number of Calories you eat every day!

Portion Control Tips and Tricks:
  • Using smaller plates, bowls, glasses, and utensils can help you keep your portions under control.
  • Use your plate as a guide for a balanced meal. Use half of your plate for fruits/veggies, a quarter for grains (rice, pasta, bread, etc) and a quarter for lean meat or protein (poultry, fish, beans, etc). See the MyPlate illustration to the right. 
  • Don't eat snacks out of a bag or a box. You are more likely to eat the whole thing, regardless of how many servings the package actually contains. Pour one serving into a small bowl and enjoy.
  • Be a kid at heart. When dining out, order off the kids menu to reduce portion size. Sadly, many kids' menus provide too many Calories for young children, but they may be a more appropriate portion size for a weight-conscious adult. 
  • Mom always says it is nice to share, so when dining at a restaurant, share an entree with a friend. 
  • Doggy-bag it! At a restaurant, put half the meal in a doggy bag before you start eating. This will reduce portion size, and save money because you will have lunch or dinner leftovers for the next day ready to go!
  • Just say no to "bargain meals".  Do you really need the chips and drink with your sub sandwich for "only $1 more"? Do you really need to upgrade to a "foot-long sub" for only $5? Do you really need the Venti size Frappacino for only 55 cents more? You may be getting more food per dollar, but you are also buying and eating more Calories than you intended. Avoid the "point-of-purchase" bargain offers and just say no (thank you!).
  • When eating at home, serve the food onto each person's plate in the kitchen, instead of putting all the serving dishes on the dining table. Keeping the excess food out of reach may discourage "seconds" and overeating. 
  • Learn to "eyeball" proper portion sizes and stick to them!
    • 3 oz meat = deck of cards
    • 1 cup of cereal, rice, or pasta = a baseball
    • 2 Tbsp of salad dressing  = a shot glass
    • 1 oz of nuts = a cupped palm
    • 1 oz of cheese  = a ping-pong ball
    • 1 tsp. of peanut butter  = one die
    • 1 medium potato = a computer mouse
    • 1 cup of fruit or veggies = a tennis ball

Click the link below and watch as portion control expert Dr. James Painter discusses portion control and shows a little experiment he did to illustrate his point.  Very interesting.
Portion Control - CBS News Health Watch 

Try some of the portion control tips this month and see if they help you manage your weight loss goals. Small, simple changes can make a world of difference.


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