For decades people have gone in and out of diets because they are told they will lose weight “fast.” Realistically though diets do help you lose weight, but most people go right back to where they started if not gaining more weight back once they get off the diet. The key to dieting is not cutting out any one particular item, but instead controlling the portions that you eat. Of course, it is also important to remember that no matter what you eat exercise MUST be an important part in your every day life. I believe the word “exercise” has begun to scare many Americans but the important thing to remember is exercising can just be getting up and walking outside for 30 minutes 4 times a week. The more you do the more you benefit but exercise does not always have to be something so unbearable.
Portion control is a type of “diet” that you can stick with for you entire life. It is maintainable and once you incorporate it into your lifestyle it becomes a day to day. Here are some simple tips for portion control:
1. Meet Yourself Halfway: You can cut the calories of your favorite foods by 50% without changing anything about then, you just eat half. For example, if you usually eat a deli sandwich at lunch, eat half it, but replace your chips with carrot sticks. If you are still hungry try munching on a piece of fruit. Produce takes longer to eat and digest than other foods, which means you will often feel full for longer. Another helpful tip that will help you when eating out, ask the server to bring you a to go box as soon as you get your meal and go straight to putting half of your meal in there.
2. Downsize your dinner. Some easy tips for this is see if a restaurant has a lunch size portion – this is usually half of the dinner size or try ordering off the kids menu if they will let you.
3. Good portions come in small packages: Instead of getting the large bag of chips try getting the small individual ones which help you control you portions OR when you get the large bag go ahead and divvy them out into smaller bags so you can control you portions.
4. Be gone, buffets: Stay clear of all-you-can-eat buffets. They completely undermine the point of portion control. You must use self control to stay away from these places.
5. Compare to control: a neat way of learning to control portions is to compare them with every day objects. Some of these are three ounces of meat is the size of a deck or cards, one ounce of meat is the size of a matchbook, and one cup of potatoes, rice or pasta looks like a tennis ball.
If you follow these steps they should drastically help you improve your ability to portion control.