Portion Control: Quick and Easy Tips

Portion control can help you maintain a healthy weight

(RxWiki News) Most of us agree that portions can get out of control quickly. And that can affect your health.

But when you take steps to control the portions of food you put on your plate and eat, you can take back control of your health.

With these simple tips, you can control your portions to maintain a healthy weight. Read on.

1. Serve Your Dinner Plates Individually

When you're eating at home, avoid putting the serving dishes directly on the dinner table. Instead, place all the food you intend to consume on your plate before you begin eating, leaving the serving dishes at the countertop.

2. Ask for a To-Go Box from the Get-Go

Restaurant portions are infamously large, and when you're in an exciting restaurant atmosphere with friends or family, it's easy to overindulge. To avoid doing that, ask your server to bring a to-go box with your meal. Then, when your food arrives, put half of it directly into the to-go box for later.

3. Split a Meal

If you don't love the idea of asking for a to-go box at the beginning of a restaurant meal, you can achieve the same portion-controlling effect by splitting your meal with someone else at the table.

4. Don't Eat Straight from the Bag

Especially when you're in front of the TV, it's easy to burn through a whole bag of chips without even realizing it. You can prevent this portion problem without too much thought by simply never eating straight from the bag or package. Instead, place the amount you intend to eat on a plate or in a bowl and bring it with you to the couch.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Snack

It's normal to sometimes get hungry between meals. Instead of pushing past the hunger and waiting hours until dinner time, go ahead and have a healthy snack now. This helps you to not overeat when dinner time rolls around.

6. Go for Smaller Packages

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people tend to eat more of a food item when they buy it in a larger package. So while those Costco trips may be fun, they may not be the best for your portion control goals. If possible, buy smaller packages of the food and snack items you are shopping for. And if you must buy the jumbo bag, take a few minutes to divide it into smaller, more healthy portion-friendly bags when you get it home.

7. Break Out the Small Dishware

When you place a smaller portion on a large plate, the way it looks can leave you feeling deprived. So, put your new under-control portions on smaller plates to present the illusion of a full plate.

8. Wait 20 Minutes

If you've finished your first helping and think you may still be hungry, give it 20 minutes. This is how long it can take for your body to realize it's full. You may find that, after the 20 minutes are up, there's no need to refill your plate.

Before making any major changes to your diet, talk to your health care provider.

Reviewed by: 
Last Updated:
November 10, 2022