The easiest way to control your portion sizes

It is easy to eat too much in this day and age, as many things are supersized and prepackaged for your taste buds’ delight. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, overeating is one of the main causes of obesity and weight gain in Americans. The bigger problem is that many Americans do not know what a proper serving size is anymore.

As National Nutrition Month ends, ask yourself: Do I really control my portion size? We’ve given you some suggestions on how to control your serving sizes by using specially designed plates and packing a portioned lunch. But what if you don’t have time to pack a lunch or don’t have fancy portion control plates — how do you ensure that you’re not overeating?

Here are some tips to help you control your portion sizes without fancy plates or while you are on the run:

Shrink your plate. We are visual eaters. That means that we take stock of our plate before we chow down to see how full it is. For the most part, we continue eating until the plate is empty — regardless of whether we are full. To help minimize your portion sizes, swap your large plates out for smaller plates. You’ll automatically consume less food.

Measure your food. Before you put food on your plate or in your mouth, make sure that you measure it or weigh it. Measuring your food is the only sure-fire way to ensure that you are not overeating. Since this can be time consuming, it’s important to be able to know off-hand if you’re consuming the correct portion size. As a general rule, your protein should be no bigger than a deck or cards and a 1-cup serving of carbohydrates is about the size of a baseball.

Ask for it to go. If you’re dining out, a quick way to ensure that you don’t overeat is to simply as the server to box half of your meal before it comes to the table. This will help you to avoid eating everything on your plate, and you will have at least another meal out of it. Another option is to split your meal with someone.

Don’t eat out of a bag or container. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the munching — especially when you’re watching a movie. To help curb your calories, avoid eating out of the bag or container. Instead, portion out your treat into a small bowl or plate to help control your serving size.

It’s easy to overeat, but if you follow these tips you will be on your way to helping control your portion sizes and live a healthier lifestyle.

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