How to Keep Portion Sizes Under Control

Photo by: Flickr
Photo by: Flickr

Portion control is one of the biggest contributors to obesity in America today. Hectic, fast paced lives tend to distract us from paying attention to the food we put in our bodies. Starving until dinner, over-sized restaurant portions, and high calorie treats are virtually surrounding us. If our willpower is down, the chances are slim that we will be able to fend off these temptations. To get a grip on portion size at your next meal. pay attention to these simple tips.

Eat All Day

Ever feel so famished that you would eat anything put in front of you? That is the feeling to avoid when trying to keep portions under control. Eating periodically throughout the day keeps your body consistently fueled. This way, when meal time comes around you will have the willpower to keep portions reasonable.

Avoid Eating Out

Eating out, and eating everything on your plate, is a surefire way to obliterate a day of healthy eating. Portion sizes at restaurants can be up to 4 times as big as they should be. Either have enough self-control to eat only part of your meal, choose portion controlled entrees, or better yet, avoid eating out as much as possible.

Everything in Moderation

Willpower is a mental game. If you know that eating a small plate of bland chicken and vegetables will leave you feeling less than satisfied, add in just a little something to keep your brain happy. An important piece of this strategy is fat. Adding heart healthy fats, such as olive oil, to your meals can give you that satisfied feeling. Not satisfied with olive oil? Having a pat of butter on your baked potato is better than indulging in oversized portions.

Smaller Plates

Visually we feel the need to fill our plates. Dining on oversized plates will most likely lead to unnecessarily oversized portions. Opt for filling a smaller plate. Visually it will appear that you have mounds of food, but in reality, your portion size will be just right.

Serving Sizes

Being aware of individual serving sizes of the foods you are eating can help you adjust your portion size at mealtime. Read the back of foods to determine how much of it you should actually be eating. Chicken is a great lean meat, but eating too much of it just puts unnecessary calories into your body.


In a world where hectic lives and fast food rules, we seldom take the time to stop and taste the food we consume. Shoveling food down does not give the brain enough time to ever realize that it may be full. Sitting down to an exciting meal, paying attention to the tastes, and enjoying the atmosphere surrounding the meal can give you the opportunity to pay less attention to filling yourself up, and more attention to enjoying everything food has to offer.

Keeping portion size under control at meal time means exercising good food judgement all day. Keeping yourself consistently fueled, avoiding restaurants, and allowing yourself to enjoy everything in moderation will give you the willpower you need to be in control at your next meal.