Take 10: Ten Tips to Help With Portions
Below are some practical tips to help you mind your portions:
- Pre-portion or buy single-serving healthy snacks and beverages. For example, it might be helpful to cut up vegetables and fruits so they are ready to go for the week or buy a smaller package size of your favorite beverage.
- Use a smaller plate. Consider swapping your entrée-sized plate for a salad plate when dishing up. Nutritionists say this is an easy trick to control how much you eat. That’s because we tend to fill the space on whatever plate we use. Again, the key is to fill your plate with a variety of heart-healthy foods. For more information, go to choosemyplate.gov/.
- Resist going for seconds—or thirds. Consider leaving platters of food in the kitchen instead of placing them on the table where it’s easy to take additional helpings.
- Skip all-you-can-eat buffets and bottomless drinks. These are bound to get you into trouble. Remember mom’s old saying “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”
- Don’t eat from the bag. Put popcorn, chips and other foods in a bowl, especially if you are watching TV or will be distracted while snacking; otherwise you might end up at the bottom of the bag.
- Consider splitting an entrée when dining out. Or, take the other half in a to-go bag to enjoy at another meal. Alternatively, just stick to an appetizer and salad.
- Order a small when you are eating a meal out. Even if it seems that a bigger size is the better deal, stick with a small.
- Be a grazer. You might actually want to spoil your meal by snacking on healthy foods throughout the day. Doing so may help you to avoid becoming overly hungry and overeating at meal-time.
- Find your balance. Ask your health care provider about low energy, nutrient dense foods. These satisfying foods can provide protein and fiber without many calories. You may also consider meeting with a dietitian/nutritionist as part of your overall health plan.
- Savor your meals. Be purposeful about what you eat, and only eat when you are hungry. Try to pace yourself and really taste and enjoy your food.