10 easy tricks to control the quantity
Portion control is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet. Here are 10 easy ways to limit what you eat.
When most of us sit down to eat, the last thing we want to think about is portion control. But for anyone who is dieting or just looking to maintain their current figure, this is exactly what they should be doing.
Gone are the days of eating bread or cake and feeling secure about its calories. In fact, researchers measured typical servings of fast food restaurants, fast food chains, and family-style restaurants and found that bread was 195% larger than the standard set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and cakes were 333% larger and undercooked. The pasta exceeded the standard by 480 percent. The scariest were the cookies, which were seven times the serving size recommended by the USDA.
Portion Control and Diet: How It Works
The first step to successful portion control is knowing the correct portion size—the amount of food recommended by government agencies, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set by the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, and the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. Serving size can usually be found by reading food labels. But the portion is the amount of food or drink a person chooses. In many cases, the portion eaten is larger than the serving size simply because we don’t know any better.
Clean your smart food labels
“Parition control limits what you eat,” says Mary M. Flynn, MD, PhD, senior dietitian and assistant professor of medicine at Merriam Hospital and Brown University in Providence, RI. actually eating and what calories are in that meal.”
Portion control and diet: 10 easy tips for small meals
The good news is that with a little practice, portion control is easy to do and can help people successfully reach and then maintain the right weight.
Here are 10 simple ways to keep your servings at a healthy size:
1. Accurately measure. For foods and drinks, use tools such as a measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, or food scale.
2. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. “Party sizes are on the ‘football field’ by estimating serving sizes compared to known ones,” says Rose Clifford, MD, a clinical dietitian in the Department of Pharmacy Services at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. “For example, three ounces of cooked meat or fish. Or a poultry is the size of a deck of playing cards.” Other easy measurements of an eyeball include:
1 ice cream scoop sized
cup 1 tennis ball sized cup
1 ounce of cheese the size of a domino
3 Use portion control plates. Choose the small plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they contain. You may find that a bowl of soup you thought contained 8 ounces actually contained 16, which means you were eating twice as much as you had planned.
4. Serve your portions separately. Serve food from the stovetop to the plates rather than serving family-style food at the table, encouraging seconds.
5. Make your own individual meal boxes. “Re-divide large quantities of favorite foods like pasta, rice, and grains into individual portions in zip-top bags so that when you’re in the mood for some food, you’ll immediately see how many portions you’re preparing,” says Jennifer Nasser, PhD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biology. Biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
6. Add milk before coffee. When possible, put milk (skim) in the cup before adding the hot drink to better measure the amount used.
7. Measure the oil carefully. This is especially important because oil (even the healthy ones like olive and safflower) contain a lot of calories; Do not pour it directly into the cooking pan or over food.
8. Monitor food portions when eating out. Eat half the meal or share it with a friend. If you’re eating a salad, ask for the dressing on the side. Dip the fork in the sauce, then in the salad.
9. Add vegetables. Have a cup of low-calorie vegetable soup before a meal, or add vegetables to casseroles and sandwiches for a boost of volume without a lot of calories.
Try the beef soup with root vegetables
10. Listen to your hunger cues. Eat when hungry and stop when you feel comfortably full or full. “Try to determine if you’re 80 percent full and stop there,” Clifford says. “There will be more food at the next meal or snack!”