Portion size is about changing your eating habits not your appetite. Very simple tips and strategies can help you to keep your portions in check and avoid overeating. Sometimes we think smaller portions means that we are going to be hungry at the end of a meal but it doesn’t! Smaller portions mean eating the right amount of food for each meal and not eating excessive calories. 2,000 calories per day is all most adults need to eat (children need even fewer), but you’re probably eating even more. With bigger food portions come more calories, and consuming extra calories can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. But a simple way to start being healthier is to choose to eat a little less.
Some tips for changing the amount of food we eat:
Slow Down. Take the time to slow down, chew and enjoy your food. Eating slower gives your stomach time to tell your brain when you are full. Eating too fast means you can pile on unwanted calories before you stomach has a chance to let you know that you are done.
Bring the veggies to the table. Often times we bring all the food for the meal to the table, serve the plates and all the food remains on the table in plain sight. Leave the food except the veggies on the stove or counter. Proximity to the food can make a difference as to whether you want seconds or not. Making it easier to get to the veggies means you are more likely to fill up on those first.
Quit the clean plate club. Do you find yourself thinking you’re not done until your plate is clean?? It’s a habit that many parents instilled in their children. It’s time to change that way of thinking. Cleaning your plate can often lead to overeating. Focus on knowing when you are full to determine when its time to stop. Practice this by leaving the last two bites of food on your plate at each meal. Pretty soon you will not feel uncomfortable stopping before your plate is cleaned. Not cleaning your plate doesn’t mean you have to forget about the ambiguous starving children in other countries…Take your food home or pack it up for tomorrow’s lunch.
Never eat directly from the package. Portion out the food into a dish so you can see exactly how much you are eating. We tend to eat a lot more when we eat directly out of the package. Especially if you buy in bulk. Two handfuls of chips might not even put a dent in your bulk size bag, so you might think it’s okay to keep eating.