If you missed my weekend post: Is This Okay? (Mini-Rant) please read it! Not really for what I wrote, but for all the interesting, insightful comments you all left!
Today I wanted to focus on one aspect of my weight loss journey that is vitally important – Portion Control.
Portion control was one of my “Big Three” when I was losing weight. I watched portions, controlled the fat percentage in my overall diet, and exercised. Of those three, portion size was the easiest to deceive myself over. It was easy to watch the fat content in foods, exercise was either a “did” or “didn’t,” but portions could be tricky.
I would often try and justify having a second or third piece of bread because I didn’t put butter on it.
I would take a couple of extra crackers, instead of stopping at the 5 per the serving size.
I would dish out a bit more casserole than I knew was the right amount.
If I ate baked chips, instead of counting out the correct amount I’d just reach my hand in a few times in a row.
I would eat more pasta even though I knew what a serving looked like because I had measured it before.
I’d eat 3 pieces of diet whole wheat bread because it was diet, and had less calories.
Along my weight loss year I stopped fooling myself over portion sizes, and made myself be honest about what a portion really was and wasn’t. Sometimes it was hard because sometimes I wanted more of something, but I knew I had had enough. Here are seven tips that might help you when dealing with the temptation to eat a little bigger portion than you really intend.
Seven Tips for Portion Control
1. Per Dr. Oz - Use a smaller plate, bowl, or cup. I do this all the time and it really helps – both now in maintenance, and during my weight loss. If I ever eat ice cream I use one of those tiny custard cups and just put a small spoonful in. It’s not a lot of ice cream, but it is enough.
2. Learn what the proper portions of food are. Here’s a great resource. For example, a baked potato shouldn’t be bigger than your computer mouse. In other words, it shouldn’t be as big as your head like you see in some restaurants!
3. Read the serving size on the package. Sometimes you may be surprised at how small a serving really is. Crackers anyone? How about stopping at five.
4. Think before you eat. Really think about what you are about to eat, and resolve to enjoy each bite.
5. Stick with one helping of the main dish. If you are still hungry, fill up on veggies or salad and leave the entree alone.
6. Don’t be a member of the Clean Plate Club. It’s okay to leave things on your plate. For me, it’s the rare meal where I eat everything on my plate. Ask John!
7. When in doubt – measure. The value of measuring and weighing your food is proven. Do you want to measure forever? No – and you don’t have to. But if you aren’t sure or aren’t confident in your ability to use visual cues, then measure.
Portion control really is the key to weight loss and weight maintenance. You can exercise, you can eat healthy food, but without eating the right AMOUNT of food, you will have a hard time achieving your goals!!
Question: I’d love to hear your thoughts on portions and how you control them! Diane