Discover New Ways to Portion Control

Today is Columbus Day and he discovered America so lets discover some things of our own! Everyone knows that the best way to lose weight is to control what you eat. The hardest time to think of portions is when you are eating out at a restaurant. I mean who could blame you? The food is usually good and you’re paying a good amount of money for what you ordered so you have to eat it all, right? Wrong! There are many things you can do to help keep your portions in check when going out to eat and when you stay in and make dinner!

Lets start with when you go out to eat. The average serving that restaurants give you is at least double what it should be. Say you eat out a couple times a week that’s a whole lot of food that you are eating! I mean don’t get me wrong I love a good burger and fries but I rarely can finish the whole thing! (Unless I haven’t eaten all day and I’m basically starving.) But I swear that the burgers you get when you go out to eat are a half of a cow and the amount of fries they serve must equal a whole field of potatoes! There are ways to resist and control the portions you eat though, even when going to a restaurant!

  • When you are dining at a restaurant, ask the waiter for a take-out container as soon as he gets your order. Put half of your meal in the box as soon as it arrives. Try to eat slowly and enjoy the conversation and the restaurant’s ambiance. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes to start to feel full, so eating at a slower pace will prevent you from overeating. You can always take some of the food back out of the carton at the restaurant if you’re still truly hungry, but chances are you won’t want to.
  • If heating up leftovers the next day isn’t your cup of tea, find out if your eatery offers lunch-sized portions of their dishes. These are almost always significantly smaller than full-sized dinner entrees, so don’t be afraid to ask if you can purchase the lunch entree at dinner time. If that’s not an option, ask to order from the children’s menu … practicing this portion control pointer will save your waistline some inches and your wallet some bucks.
  • As we all know, fast food portions are already oversized, so there’s no need to add insult to injury by upgrading your meal. No matter how much of a “better deal” it may seem, don’t be tempted. In fact, steering clear of “meal deals” altogether is very wise. You’re much better off ordering a grilled chicken sandwich, or even a regular hamburger (hold the mayo on both), along with a side salad, than ordering a combo that comes with a silo-sized soda, too. Kids meals are a good alternative at fast food restaurants; they contain what wereconsidered normal-sized portions for us grown-ups a few decades ago.

Now what about when you make dinner at home and you can’t help but want to eat more than you need? Downsize what you serve the food in!

  • Plates:  Keep them saucer-size (about six inches in diameter). Yes, it might feel a little Alice in Wonderland, but in a Cornell University study, people who ate hamburgers off of saucers believed they were eating an average of 18 percent more calories than they really were. People who ate off of 12-inch-diameter dishes, on the other hand, had no such delusion.
  • Bowls: Research shows that the bigger the bowl, the more you’ll stuff into it. So stick with small ones, or use a teacup or a mug for foods you tend to gulp down, like cereal and ice cream. Save the giant bowls for salad and broth-based soups so you can fill up on fewer calories.
  • Glasses: According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, adults pour about 19 percent more liquid into short, wide glasses than they do into tall tumblers. This may be because our brains tend to focus more on an object’s height than its width, so short glasses don’t appear quite as full.
  • Spoons: Stick with teaspoons, even to load up your plate. Another Cornell study found that people who used three-ounce serving spoons shoveled out nearly 15 percent more food than those who scooped using smaller two-ounce spoons.
  • Serving Dishes: In studies, people ate as much as 56 percent more when they served themselves from a one-gallon bowl than they did from a half-gallon one. You can also hedge your bets by choosing ceramic over glass: One study in the International Journal of Obesity found that women ate 71 percent more out of transparent containers than they did out of dishes they couldn’t see through.
  • Don’t Serve at the Table: If you keep all of the food away from the table and only bring over pre served dishes you are less likely to eat more. With the food dishes sitting on the table you are continually looking at the food and will serve yourself more because it is there.

So next time you go out to eat or you are making dinner think about portions and how you can eat better by taking some of these suggestions!

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