When embarking on a weight loss diet, it’s easy to think about all the big steps that need to be taken regarding portion control and food: counting calories, keeping track of fat grams, eating enough fiber, etc. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yet, if you take it one small step at a time, you can break this portion control effort into easily handled steps.
The easiest way to get a handle on portion control is to set aside one day out of the week and plan your menu. Nothing too detailed, unless you need it to be that way – just quickly jot down what you think you will eat for each meal and snack.
At that point, grab your plastic sandwich bags and your food storage containers and set aside how many you will need for each meal, each day: two sandwich bags for snacks, three storage containers for meals. Why? Because when you prepackage your food for school or work, you take away the danger of mindless overeating. You can do the same for food at home, too.
You may have saved money buying the family-sized bag of pretzels but if you end up eating the whole thing in one sitting, you find the cost of it staring back at you from the scale numbers as you weigh yourself. So portion out your snacks at home, too. It will save you from unnecessary temptation.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
When you are eating out, a small but effective way to control portions is to ask for a doggie bag to be brought out with your meal. That way, you can quickly put half of the meal away for later and concentrate on eating what’s in front of you, which is more likely to be a proper portion anyway.
Here’s another super easy trick: know the serving size of your favorite treat. Then prepackage it. Is it a handful of chocolate candies? A half cup of that rich ice cream? Or maybe just a thin slice of cheesecake? Denying yourself is never a good idea when trying to lose weight. It seems contradictory, but when you give yourself a (little) treat while dieting, you will have a better chance of sticking to your weight loss program. The key is to know the size of a single serving, and then make sure it’s ready on hand to have when the urge to indulge strikes. The best of dieting intentions can go awry when we are having one of those ‘weak’ moments.