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It’s a well-known feeling. You tell yourself you want to eat a well-balanced diet, but then you see that sign for the best burger in the world and before you know it, you’ve downed double what you ever intended. Eating healthy portions of anything these days isn’t an easy undertaking. Advertisements promote the “more is more” theory when it comes to food, and restaurants happily serve up enough to feed a small nation.
It should come as no surprise then that even those with the best intentions struggle when it comes to maintaining meals that fall within healthy portion limits. In an attempt to help keep your portion goals consistently in line and manageable, here are five tips to filling up without going over the top on portion size.
Stop skipping the important meals.
One of the greatest drivers pushing people towards over-eating is simply…hunger. If you want to succeed at maintaining healthy portion sizes on a daily basis, it’s important not to skip your regular meals. Getting your body in the habit of consuming healthy foods at regular intervals is going to keep you from over-snacking during the rest of the day, and keep hunger pangs at bay.
Put impatience aside and plan ahead.
Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, learning to plan out your meals and portions ahead of time is going to save you a lot of hassle and over-eating in the long run. Spur of the moment food decisions usually result in a buffet-style fiasco without portion control involved at all. Set aside time each week to plan out what you’re eating and how much. You’ll be surprised how quickly the routine becomes second nature!
Get creative with the size comparisons.
If you’re someone who struggles with understanding visually how large a portion or serving should be, go ahead and find easy comparisons around your house. Knowing that your steak should be the size of a deck of cards is an easy way to double check that what you’re consuming is in line with your portion guidelines. Make sure to keep those handy items in your kitchen for easy access when you’re wondering about what you’re cooking up.
Use measuring cups if you must.
If estimates just won’t cut it for you, feel free to measure away. Keeping measuring cups on hand for each dish will keep you right on track. Additionally, there are plenty of portion-control container options on the market. These containers will make packing just the right size as simple as snapping on a lid.
Snack away, but with a purpose.
Snacking during the day is not out of the question when you’re focusing on maintaining portion sizes — it’s just important to make sure your snacks are health-efficient. Be sure to indulge in snacks high in protein and low in sugar to keep you full for longer, and not damage the healthy standards you’ve set for yourself at meal times. Healthy snacking will keep you from overdoing it on portions at the end of the day, and can really work in your favor if done well!