In theory, portion control sounds easy. Don’t eat so much of this, don’t drink so much of that. In actuality, portion control is a challenge. Our eyes can be deceptive. It is hard to visualize what a ¼ cup is or what an 8oz pour might be. Portion control is about accuracy and willpower. Here are some tips related to portion control to help you succeed on your weight loss journey.
When you are at home, portion control can be easier than at a restaurant or at a friend’s home because you are in charge of your environment. At the same time, eating at home can also lead to unneeded snacking or binge eating.
Use smaller plates.
- At home, put your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a smaller plate or in a smaller bowl. Your brain will see this dish as being more full, so you stomach will feel fuller when you finish that portion. A large plate with only a little food looks empty, and you will still feel hungry.
Don’t go back for seconds.
- Have willpower and avoid going back for seconds. Let your food settle in your stomach for twenty minutes, and you will likely feel full. Distract yourself with a book or watch TV. If you are a person who generally snacks when they watch TV, avoid that activity and go for a walk instead.
Portion out leftovers.
- A handy way to take portion control on-the-go is to pre-portion leftovers into separate containers. You won’t be as tempted to take two containers!
Don’t leave food sitting out.
- To avoid unnecessary snacking, it is helpful to put food away after you dish out your portion. Don’t leave a bag of chips open on the counter, or a package of crackers on the table. Remember to close all of your food items and put them in their place.
Don’t eat directly from packages.
- Completely avoid eating from a package. Always be sure to portion out food. If it is a snack, take a handful. Then put the package away. To go back for more, you need to make a conscious decision and put in the effort to go to the package and open it up. This allows you more time to decide against a second helping.
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