The Skinny on Controlling Food Portions

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Photo By Richard Sweet

Believe me when I say, I love food and I most definitely love to eat food. This means one thing for me. If I am going to maintain control over my weight, I have to consciously control the portions that I intake.

There are some simple ways that I have learned to help control the portions that I actually take into my body. If you’re like me, you may take extra nibbles all along while in the kitchen. You may not even know how much you are actually eating by the time the kitchen is cleared and cleaned.

So, where are those extras coming from, and how can you cut back on your portions?

  1. Don’t put food directly on the table – After you cook, leave the food either on the stove or on the counter instead of placing it on the table. Prepare the plates from the stove or counter and then sit down at the table to eat. This keeps the food from sitting in front of you and tempting you to grab an extra serving or two.
  2. Cut your meat before serving -Some foods, like grilled chicken or pork chops, can be sliced before placing them on a serving dish. I find that by slicing the meat, my family tends to put less on their plates than if they were served a whole chicken breast or pork chop. It also fools the eye because it is not as obvious that you are actually eating less.
  3. Use a smaller plate – If you normally fill up a large plate with food, try using a slightly smaller plate. This will automatically reduce your portions since you don’t have as much surface area to cover. Just make sure that you don’t go back for seconds to make up for the difference. Also, don’t try to use a plate that is too much smaller because that will only make you fill like you are cheating or starving yourself.
  4. Don’t nibble off the kids plate – I admit it, I’m guilty of this one. You make the little one a yummy grilled cheese sandwich. She finishes all she wants, but there on the plate is left a perfectly tasty looking piece of sandwich. Go straight to the trash, and chunk it before you get a chance to think about how good it looks. (I’m talking to myself too on this one.)
  5. Don’t lick the spoon – How many extra calories do you suppose we consume just from licking the spoon when we take it out of the casserole dish to put the food away. Of course, the problem probably is not so much the licking the empty spoon, but the extra little bites we put on the spoons before we lick them. Please don’t tell me I’m the only one guilty of this.
  6. Load up on the good stuff – Before spooning food on your plate, glance at the dishes in front of you and decide which ones are best for you and which are not quite as good for you. Load your plate with the healthier, less fattening foods, and keep the more fattening foods to a minimum.

I really hope these suggestions have been helpful to you. Honestly, I know how difficult it can be to eat less. This is why I have tried to find ways to eat less without feeling like I’m cheating myself.

Even if controlling portions is not an issue for you, you may know someone in your family or a friend that can benefit from these tips.

As I write these tips and suggestions, know that I have not mastered them myself. Because of my passion for food, I have to work daily to eat better and control my portions.

What ways have you found to monitor your food intake?

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Posted on March 24th, 2009 in Health and Fitness | 3 Comments
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3 Comments

  • I find that using a smaller plate really helps. We almost never use the large dinner plates in our home. We eat all our meals on salad plates. Great tips!

    Nicki at Domestic Cents’s last blog post..Line-Dried Clothes

  • Hi Amanda,
    Great suggestions! My husband and I were shocked to find out that a single serving of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards! We were certainly over eating in that department. Now if we’re having steak for example we cook one and split it. I love number 6 as well loading up on the good stuff that is so true!

    Sherri (Serene Journey)’s last blog post..How To Be The Person You Want To Be

    • Amanda says:

      Sherri – I had also read somewhere that the serving size of meat was about the size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand. I didn’t even think of adding that to this post. Thanks for sharing that information.

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