If you’re trying to lose weight, one of the first steps you might take is limiting the portion sizes of your meals.
After all, portion sizes in America have been growing steadily larger throughout the decades. In many cases, you may dine out at a nice restaurant and only be able to finish half, if not less, of your meal.
What’s a serving size, anyway? A serving size is the amount of food you should be eating according to recommendations provided by government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services. If you’re ever curious about the recommended serving size for a particular meal, read the nutrition label on the package of your food product.
If you’ve had weight-loss surgery, managing portion sizes can be much easier given the reduced state of your stomach. However, if you’re trying to lose weight through conventional methods of diet and exercise alone, managing and controlling portion sizes can prove to be a difficult task.
Here are six easy ways to manage portion sizes and get started on the path to weight loss.
- Start measuring all food portions. Pull out measuring cups and measuring spoons and measure portions for all the foods you’re eating. Taking accurate measurements will allow you to become more familiar with where you can start cutting back on your diet.
- Serve food on smaller dishes. Using bigger plates often results in eating bigger portion sizes. Start using smaller plates and bowls to manage and maintain your portion sizes.
- Serve yourself in the kitchen — not at the table. A buffet-style dining room table often results in overeating since the food is easily accessible.
- Prep your meals in advance. Take time on the weekend or before the start of your work-week to prep meals for the week. Measure and portion out all meals into the appropriate serving sizes, and store in food containers and sandwich bags.
- Plan to eat less at restaurants. Most restaurants will serve meals that are two or three times the recommended serving size. Prepare in advance by inviting a friend to split a meal with you, or by boxing up at least half of the meal immediately when it is served to you.
- Add milk, sugar, and cream before pouring coffee. Adding these products to your coffee after it has been poured can result in portions that are too large. Measure out portions according to their serving sizes, and add to your coffee or tea cup before pouring.