Hello Carrots N Cake readers! My name is Maria Lichty and my blog is Two Peas and Their Pod. I started a food blog a little over a year ago, with my handsome husband, Josh. We are a great team and have a lot of fun in the kitchen. We love trying new recipes, techniques, and flavors. We try to keep it healthy, but of course we have to splurge once in awhile. I agree with Tina, it is all about a healthy balance.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and work as a health educator for Utah’s worksite wellness program, Healthy Utah. I enjoy teaching and encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle. Today I am going to share a few tips and tricks about portion control.
Have you noticed that the size of muffins, chocolate bars, sandwiches, bagels, and soft drinks are growing? Portion sizes are out of control! As portion sizes grow, we tend to eat much more than we need to stay healthy. Here are a few tips to help you control your portions.
The first step to mastering portion control is to identify what a recommended serving of your food selections looks like. If you are not sure what a correct portion size is, visit this site for some help: Making Sense of Portion Sizes.
Try measuring your food for awhile to see if you are eating the proper portion sizes. I like to measure out my cereal, pasta, cottage cheese, etc. Use measuring cups, spoons, and/or a food scale. You do not need to measure and count everything you eat for the rest of your life; just long enough to recognize standard serving sizes. Another helpful hint is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ with a lean protein, and the other ¼ with a whole grain. I love these fashionable portion plates from Slimware. They are trendy, fun, and can help guide you to eat proper portions.
Here are a few other tips to try:
- Don’t eat family style meals. If the food is in front of you, it is harder to avoid seconds. Fix yourself a plate and put the food away. Eat the leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze for later.
- Replace large plates with smaller ones. I always eat my dinner on a salad plate.
- Eat slowly so your brain can get the message that your stomach is full.
- Don’t eat in front of the television. People tend to mindlessly eat while watching TV. Sit at the table and focus on your food.
- Allow yourself to have a healthy snack, such as a piece of fresh fruit or veggies with hummus. This will help curb your hunger so you don’t over-eat when it’s meal time.
- Keep unhealthy snacks out of sight. If a bowl of M&M’s is staring you down, it is hard to resist. Instead, keep a bowl of fruit on the counter.
- If buy in bulk, repackage the food into small individual serving sizes. For example, I like to measure out a serving of almonds and put them in a little baggie so I am not tempted to eat the entire bag.
Try to prepare more meals at home. It will save you money, fat, and calories. When you do eat out, try these tips to help you control portions:
- Share your meal, order a half-portion, or order an appetizer as a main meal.
- Ask the waiter/waitress to remove the free bread or chips. They are too tempting!
- Drink water-the perfect beverage. Avoid calorie loaded soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Stop eating when you begin to feel full. Focus on enjoying the setting, company, and conversation instead.
- When traveling, bring along nutritious snacks such as: whole grain crackers, fruit, string cheese, nuts, yogurt, and bottled water. Being prepared will prevent you from stocking up on unhealthy treats at the gas station or going through the drive thru.
Do you have any portion control tips to share? Please comment below. Again, I believe in a healthy balance. It is ok to splurge once in awhile, but try to keep it healthy most of the time. 😀