As a holistic health coach and someone who's super conscious about what I eat (hello, gluten free and vegan, a restaurants nightmare), my biggest downfall is portion control. The thing is, I know better, but often times, can't help it. No matter what your eating habits or weight loss goals are, here are eight tips for better portion control.
1. Focus on eating whole foods.
Include protein, healthy fats and vegetables, until you are satiated (that feeling where you are about 80% full). Don't deprive yourself since this always backfires, causing you to eat more food later in the day. Most processed foods have chemical additives that make it difficult for us to have just one serving size.
2. If portion control is more of an issue when you go out to eat, have a healthy snack before you leave.
This way, the bread or chip basket is less tempting (or ask that the waiter not bring the rolls or chips to your table). Plan on taking part of your meal home for leftovers since most restaurants give you huge portions. You can even ask for an extra plate and put ½ the meal on that plate and pack the rest up to take home for left overs.
3. Include healthy fats in your diet.
This will help you feel satiated longer (and allow your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins your body needs). Ideas include; avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter and ghee. Having a salad? You’ll feel full longer and absorb more nutrients if you add some fresh avocado or a dressing that includes healthy fat, like olive oil.
4. Use smaller plates.
When you put food on a large plate, you almost automatically want to try to fill it up and then feel like you need to finish it all. By using smaller plates (and bowls), you may find that you eat less but still feel comfortably full.
5. Don’t skip meals.
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make, and it can sabotage the best efforts. Start your day with breakfast (include some protein which will help you feel full longer) and plan ahead for lunch. It’s also a good idea to bring a healthy snack with you to get you through the afternoon before dinner. Portion control is very difficult when you’re starving!
6. When snacking, place the snack on a plate (or bowl) rather than eating right out of the bag or container.
This is a huge help so you’re more aware of how much you are eating, and you can better manage your portions this way.
7. If you’re out at dinner, and you feel like having dessert, just plan ahead.
Order a smaller dinner (or healthy appetizers) and skip the alcohol, and enjoy a little dessert. It’s all about moderation and choices. Don’t feel like you ‘can’t have it’; just decide what you would enjoy more and make the choice… and enjoy.
8. Slow down.
By slowing down and enjoying our food more, we end up eating less. Remember to chew each bite more, relax and enjoy!