Back in May, I wrote about how I had a portion size problem. Basically, I found myself eating all the food and ignoring how full I really felt.
Since that time, I’ve implemented several strategies to help address eating more than my stomach can handle. I have to stress though that these are not foolproof tips. While they help most of the time, I still have moments where I eat more than I intended. But we’re human and we move on and try again. Am I right?
So here are the 8 tips I’ve been using to keep my portion sizes under control over the past couple of months.
1. Go back to the basics and put your utensils down between each bite of food. This “break” gives you the space to taste the food, enjoy what you’re eating, and assess your satiety, instead of focusing on the next bite.
2. Chew, chew, chew. I know this sounds silly, but since actually paying attention to the way I eat, I’ve come to realize that I could stand to chew more. And of course, thoroughly chewing increases the time between bites giving you time to assess how full you are.
3. This tip comes from Laura. I loved it so much that I’ve started using it myself. She suggests chewing on a piece of gum when you start to feel full. As someone who hates combining minty flavors with anything else, this works out perfectly for me. There’s no going back for “one more bite.”
4. Another back to basics trick – use smaller plates. When plating our dinners, I always use the smaller plate because I figure I can get more food if I want. And guess what? Nine times out of ten I am satisfied with the amount I serve myself.
5. When eating out, split dishes. I’ve done this a few times recently, and it works out nicely. Most restaurants serve WAY more than what one person can consume. If you and the person you’re eating out with both want similar things, why not just share.
6. Something I noticed myself doing is eating small bites of what I was making for dinner as I was making it. While it’s good to taste test, I found myself a little full before dinner was even served. But of course, I would still eat a full meal. Not good! So now I drink water as I cook. It keeps me full and the “taste testing” to a minimum.
7. I don’t believe in deprivation. I believe in moderation. If you want to eat pizza, eat a few slices and not the whole pie. If you want a piece of cake, cut yourself a small piece and enjoy every bite. Over time, I’ve learned that when it comes to controlling portion sizes, if you can master moderation, you’re halfway there. By not depriving yourself of any one food, you most likely will not have the urge to eat copious amounts of it at one time. You enjoy it and move on.
8. This may be my favorite tip – make mealtime an experience. I’ll admit that Vishnu and I are guilty for eating most of our meals on the couch in front of the TV. Not a good habit and one that I’m trying very hard to break. By making mealtime an experience, one where the focus is not on the food but on the conversation, the presentation, and the senses, you are essentially changing the game. Now it’s about enjoying good food with those around you and taking it all. I’ve found that by doing this I automatically slow down because I want the experience to last longer and consequently eat less.
How do you control your portion sizes? Please share all of your tips and tricks (no matter how kooky!).
13 thoughts on “8 Tips to Control a Portion Size Problem”
Great tips, P…especially given how easy it is to overeat without realising it! I know it might sound anal to some but I find that measuring my food once every few weeks is a great way to ensure that my portions aren’t creeping up! In between, it just makes it that much easier to eyeball a portion.
That’s a great idea, K! I try to do that every now and then – just to make sure I’m not eating 3x the amount that I should be!
These are great tips!! It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with! I’m lucky that Alex will split restaurant meals with me pretty often!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…Parmesan Sweet Potato Chips
I wish Vishnu would split with me! Luckily, he’s more than happy to finish what I can’t. 🙂
I’m glad the gum thing works for you! Brushing your teeth is another (same minty concept). 🙂 Love the smaller plates tip too. I do that… the bonus is that I can go back for 2nd of my favorites without being too stuffed.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…3-Ingredient Lemon Baked Shrimp + WIAW
Yes! That is a great one too. 🙂
i struggle with it on a daily basis as well – i will think of some of the tips you mentioned esp the one with chewing ( I eat VERY fast).
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Awesome tips lady! Specially love #7! For me, moderation is key!
I must admit, I am bad with portion control – but lately – just not been quite hungry…so I kinda go with the flow – if I am hungry, I eat, if not maybe snack or wait till I am…my hunger picks up in winter though when I am inside more – then I sometimes brush my teeth after a meal – as I hate having to redo brushing – it keeps me from snacking or eating more later.
Yes! The teeth brushing trick is a great one! That one saves me from late night chocolate.
Ha! I am the queen of LARGER THAN LIFE PORTIONS! But that’s because I have a VERY strict diet, so if I don’t eat bigger portions, I won’t get enough calories! LOL – yes, that is my excuse and I am sticking to it! AH HA HA!
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LOL – love it!
I find #8 to be the hardest one- living solo, I often get bored at meal times. And at work….the damn computer screen!
Since moving to our current apartment, I refuse to eat lunch in front of my computer! I think because I can come home for lunch, it’s now become my favorite meal of the day!