Easy Swaps for Portion Control

Easy Swaps for Portion Control

Portions have grown over the last couple of decades. Not surprisingly, our weight has followed right along with it. Portion size is a major contributor to weight problems, whether you eat out or at home. Restaurants serve huge plates of food, consisting of several servings per person, making it easy to go way past the recommended amount per meal.

It’s not much better when you eat at home.  Some estimates say that portion sizes in the past 20 years have increased in restaurants and in homes by 50%.  Did you know that a typical dinner plate holds three servings of spaghetti, not just one?  If you fill your plate, you are likely eating much more than you need and more than you bargained for.

Portion size is something you can change without getting rid of your favorite foods. All it takes is a few simple swaps to control how much you eat during a meal. Here are a few tips you can use when dining in or out:

  • Order an appetizer as an entree. Remember to stay away from fried foods.
  • Split an entree with another person.
  • Order from the lunch menu at dinnertime.
  • Leftovers are okay. Feel free to wrap up half your meal to go before you even start eating.
  • Order smaller sizes such as a half-order of pasta or a “petite” cut of meat.
  • In fast food restaurants avoid “extra value” or “super-size” meals, unless you split it with a friend. A regular small hamburger is usually equivalent to one serving of meat and two servings of grain.
  • Use smaller plates at home and a cup instead of a bowl.
  • Eat slower.  Since it takes the body 20 minutes to realize it is full, this means you can consume more food than you need without giving your body time to realize it. Slow down, enjoy the flavors and prevent overeating by giving your body time to send you natural cues.
  • Keep measuring cups next to things you eat regularly.
  • Tape this handy portion size chart http://bit.ly/1KrGzEv inside your cabinet for reference.