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TOPIC: Portion Sizes

 
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January 25, 2013 8:57 AM
I struggle with eating smaller portions. Growing up, my parents just let me continue to eat whatever I want and that is hurting my weight loss, especially because I workout a lot. Does anyone have some suggestions as to how I can cut down my portions in an easy way?
January 25, 2013 9:08 AM
1. DECIDE the portion
2. DECIDE what you want to do after you ate!!!
3. put it on the plate
4. clean away everything in the kitchen
5. sit down to eat your portion (away from the kitchen works better)
6. when done eating, clean away the plate asap

and do what you decided you wanted to do in Point 2.
  31993047
January 25, 2013 9:09 AM
Fill yourself up on a pile of non starchy vegetables and low sugar fruits - at least nine servings a day but you can have more - plus lean protein at every meal and snack, ground flax or chia seeds, beans and lentils. You might be interested in the Smarter Science of Slim website and podcasts, it actively encourages eating a lot of food and not counting calories.

Also take smaller forkfuls, chew your food thoroughly, eat slowly and mindfully so concentrating on the food not the TV set.
Edited by Firefox7275 On January 25, 2013 9:10 AM
January 25, 2013 9:11 AM
Get a cheap digital scale (with ounces and grams) to weigh your food. An easy way to learn what is a correct portion size.
January 25, 2013 9:12 AM
Weigh everything. It was a godsend for me and finding what my portion sizes should be. I always calculate my calories before I eat anything, that way I know I'm not going overboard on any one thing.
  32807513
January 25, 2013 9:13 AM
I like big portions, so I eat light throughout the day (only snacks really) so I can have a big dinner with large portions and still be within my calorie goals.
January 25, 2013 9:14 AM
Portion control has been my largest struggle. A few things I've learned.

1) If it is more than I should be eating, IMMEDIATELY cut it down to appropriate portions on the plate.

2) Eat slower. Sounds silly. It works.

3) When I've eaten what I need to, definitively and deliberatly push the plate away. Sounds silly, but it's a mental trick that works for me everytime.

4) Place utensils beside the pushed away plate, not on it. Makes it more work to have to pick up a fork to get another bite in.

5) If you're out, ask for a box when they seat you. Makes portioning easier.

6) If I'm home, measure out the right portion. It's a pain the ass to deal with the measuring cups and whatnot, but it gives me a better of idea of what my meal will be, calorie wise. And then put up the rest of the portion into a little container and shove that straight in the fridge.

7) I keep reminding myself that portion control leads to more leftovers, which being as I am perpetually broke, is always a good thing.
Edited by quirkytizzy On January 25, 2013 9:14 AM
January 25, 2013 9:14 AM
QUOTE:

Does anyone have some suggestions as to how I can cut down my portions in an easy way?


Yes!

1. follow the "serving size" on the nutrition label to the T. That makes the calorie counting easier too. If a serving of cereal says it is one cup, then measure out the one cup, eat that, and stop.

2. use smaller bowls and plates. don't put your piece of chicken and side of veggies on a regular dinner plate. it's tempting to want to fill up that white space. Use a salad plate. the less room you have to place food, the less food will go on your plate.

3. eat slowly. it takes 20 minutes for the feeling of "full" to catch up to your stomach. if you wolf down food in 5 minutes, you still feel hungry and are more than likely going to keep eating.

4. this is the one I always forget to do - drink 8-16 oz of water before a meal. you will feel full before you even finish the portion size. you have.

5. if eating out at a restaurant... no matter what you order or how healthy is it, when it arrives, before you even take one bite... DIVIDE IT IN HALF. Restaurant portions are crazy huge, so split the entree with someone else dining with you, or take the other half in a doggie bag for the next day.

6. sometimes deciding what you are going to eat, how much and then logging it into MFP before you eat it works too! That way, the choice is already made and I must follow it!
Edited by twoss9112 On January 25, 2013 9:21 AM
  30100893
January 25, 2013 9:14 AM
QUOTE:

Get a cheap digital scale (with ounces and grams) to weigh your food. An easy way to learn what is a correct portion size.


This!!! It's the best thing I ever did, plus I find that a lot of things that I thought might be a serving aren't quite enough- bonus! You can pick up decent cheap ones at Target. :)
  5716553
January 25, 2013 9:17 AM
QUOTE:

1. follow the "serving size" on the nutrition label to the T. That makes the calorie counting easier too. If a serving of cereal says it is one cup, then measure out the one cup, eat that, and stop.


What is the point of this? Serving sizes on packaged goods are not set up with nutrition in mind. Often they are set ridiculously small so the package can legally say "trans fat free" even though the product contains trans fat. Or "Under 100 calories per serving" because the serving size is only 1 bite. But who want to eat only one bite of something?
January 25, 2013 9:21 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Does anyone have some suggestions as to how I can cut down my portions in an easy way?


Yes!

1. follow the "serving size" on the nutrition label to the T. That makes the calorie counting easier too. If a serving of cereal says it is one cup, then measure out the one cup, eat that, and stop.

2. use smaller bowls and plates. don't put your piece of chicken and side of veggies on a regular dinner plate. it's tempting to want to fill up that white space. Use a salad plate. the less room you have to place food, the less food will go on your plate.

3. eat slowly. it takes 20 minutes for the feeling of "full" to catch up to your stomach. if you wolf down food in 5 minutes, you still feel hungry and are more than likely going to keep eating.

4. this is the one I always forget to do - drink 8-16 oz of water before a meal. you will feel full before you even finish the portion size. you have.

5. if eating out at a restaurant... no matter what you order or how healthy is it, when it arrives, before you even take one bite... DIVIDE IT IN HALF. Restaurant portions are crazy huge, so split the entree with someone else dining with you, or take the other half in a doggie bag for the next day.


I'll also add to this:

6. Measure out and package portions out ahead of time. If I buy a bag of Atomic BBQ goldfish crackers (using this as an example because I love them), I'll take the bag and count out 34 crackers (that's the suggested portion size on the bag and only 90 calories) and put them in separate containers/baggies so that I have quick snacks on hand and I know exactly how much I'm consuming each time.
  17915958
January 25, 2013 9:23 AM
Beyond the tips and tricks to help you cut down, you need to change your mind set too - well, that is my experience. I've posted about this book before so I hope people aren't sick of it, but it really helped me. You can probably get it at your local library:
The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person

Good luck!
January 25, 2013 9:26 AM
reduce your portion and drink a glass of water before and after every meal it works.
January 25, 2013 9:27 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

1. follow the "serving size" on the nutrition label to the T. That makes the calorie counting easier too. If a serving of cereal says it is one cup, then measure out the one cup, eat that, and stop.


What is the point of this? Serving sizes on packaged goods are not set up with nutrition in mind. Often they are set ridiculously small so the package can legally say "trans fat free" even though the product contains trans fat. Or "Under 100 calories per serving" because the serving size is only 1 bite. But who want to eat only one bite of something?


The point is, some people have a harder time with labels etc, so if you're looking at calories, sticking to the serving size CAN be a guide, depending on what the item is. of course they don't all make sense, but most people who pay attention to the labels already know this and know how to adjust for it. That's why I used the example of cereal. most things that are measures in servings that are in reality only 1 or 2 bites are the junk that should be cut out anyway.
  30100893
January 25, 2013 9:27 AM
I completely understand where you're coming from! Growing up in the south, it's all about BIG portions, second helpings, everything. So battling that is hard for me too sister :)

What I will tell you is that it is difficult at first, so try to just work on decreasing the portion size of, say, your serving of meat to begin with. A lot of people don't know what 4 oz of chicken actually should look like (I know I didn't!). Fill up the remaining "space" on your plate with things like steamed veggies (or even fruits at first) so that you can still get volume, but with more fibrous foods.

Over the course of a few weeks, start decreasing portion size bit by bit. Your stomach has to shrink, which takes time. At some point you will realize that eating HALF of what you used to now makes you full. You will get there, trust me!

Oh and here's another tip: EAT DINNER IN A BIKINI. That's right! Makes you really conscious of what goes into your mouth!
  3923264
January 25, 2013 9:34 AM
Few tricks that help:
1. Use smaller plates. We tend to want to fill it up. Give yourself less space to fill up and limit yourself to one plate.
2. Use the 1/2, 1/4, 1/4 visual guide. One half the plate should be green (Salad, steamed veggies, etc.), one quarter complex carb (brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc.), and one quarter protein (chicken breast, tofu, etc.)
3. Eat more frequent smaller meals. By having a little protein, fat and carbohydrate every three or four hours you will not get the intense hunger pains and you will be satisfied with less food.
Hope that these ideas or at least one of them might work for you feel free to add me if you need another friend from whom you can get ideas.
  26651090
January 25, 2013 9:34 AM
I have a spoon/laddle/scooper that I know is 1/4 cup. I have one at work, and one at home. I use this make sure I am portioning out everything. I then use a small bowl and plate. Sundays I make my meals for the week, I then portion everything out in tuperware for my dinners and lunches.
January 25, 2013 9:41 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Does anyone have some suggestions as to how I can cut down my portions in an easy way?


Yes!

1. follow the "serving size" on the nutrition label to the T. That makes the calorie counting easier too. If a serving of cereal says it is one cup, then measure out the one cup, eat that, and stop.

2. use smaller bowls and plates. don't put your piece of chicken and side of veggies on a regular dinner plate. it's tempting to want to fill up that white space. Use a salad plate. the less room you have to place food, the less food will go on your plate.

3. eat slowly. it takes 20 minutes for the feeling of "full" to catch up to your stomach. if you wolf down food in 5 minutes, you still feel hungry and are more than likely going to keep eating.

4. this is the one I always forget to do - drink 8-16 oz of water before a meal. you will feel full before you even finish the portion size. you have.

5. if eating out at a restaurant... no matter what you order or how healthy is it, when it arrives, before you even take one bite... DIVIDE IT IN HALF. Restaurant portions are crazy huge, so split the entree with someone else dining with you, or take the other half in a doggie bag for the next day.


I'll also add to this:

6. Measure out and package portions out ahead of time. If I buy a bag of Atomic BBQ goldfish crackers (using this as an example because I love them), I'll take the bag and count out 34 crackers (that's the suggested portion size on the bag and only 90 calories) and put them in separate containers/baggies so that I have quick snacks on hand and I know exactly how much I'm consuming each time.


I forgot about this - that is a REALLY good one! I do that too! And I'm glad to know I'm not the only person that will honestly sit there and count out the 34 crackers! People look at me weird for that sometimes. Haha!

Another one that I do is look up some of the "fast" food places online before going there so I know which things I can have and which substitutions I should make once I get there. I have a little notbook for my purse with some of this stuff in it. So If I'm running late and have to grab something fast or someone says "hey let's go grab something on the way, where should we go...", I don't have to waste time looking things up. I already know that if someone wants Panda Express, I can go, "Ok, there are a couple things there I can have...". I look in my little notebook and "Oh yes, I can have the Panda Bowl with mixed veggies and Broccoli Beef for just 190 calories total and still have a decent sized lunch, sure let's go!"

Works well for restaurants too, if it happens to be one that you can get the nutrition details for, or if you like to visit certain favorite places. My other half and I like PF CHangs and I thought my days of having that were DONE. But there are a lot of things on there I can have! I can eat a whole LAGRE side of the Shanghai Cucumbers by myself if I want and come in at 130 calories!

It's helpful to have that kind of info for social situations, instead of having to just play it safe and always get a saldad with no dressing, plus, I also don't feel like I just "can't" eat out anymore, like I thought was going to happen. You just have to learn to divide portions, adjust your choices, etc.
Edited by twoss9112 On January 25, 2013 9:42 AM
  30100893
January 26, 2013 12:41 PM
This has all been extremely helpful! I will definitely be taking all of this as advice and be cutting my portions! I think that both the scale and the 1/4 cup spoon/ladle will be things that I might invest in! :)
Edited by 91njb09 On January 26, 2013 12:42 PM

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