Our world seems to thrive on an abundance of cheap, tasty fast food conveniences of monstrous portions while boasting good economical choices. I'm just as guilty as the guy ahead of me in the drive through line and occasionally believe I need to eat large quantities of food to feel satisfied, but then indigestion and my bloated body remind me that, although I can make room for these foods in my meal plan as a treat or indulgence, it is not wise to supersize on a regular basis.
And I wonder if I even know what a truly satisfying portion is anymore? Do I even remember the last time I ate mindfully and really slowed down to taste - and enjoy - what I was eating? Did I take note of the texture, temperature, aroma and flavor of my indulgence?
When my impulses are out of control and my portions become distorted, here are my top 10 tips for regaining control:
- Use smaller plates, bowls and cups at meal times - you will eat less without realizing it.
- Buy pre-packaged/pre-portioned single-serve snacks (or buy in bulk and divide items into single-serve baggies).
- Keep a kitchen scale on your counter and measuring cups within reach - and use them!
- Weigh and measure all of your food on the first week of every month as a reminder of proper portion sizes.
- Note the difference between serving size and portion size. (a portion is the amount of food/drink you choose to consume. A serving is a measured amount of food or drink. There are 2.5 servings in a 20-ounce bottle of soda).
- If you follow the Weight Watchers plan, use a Sharpie marker to write POINTS values on packaging so you don't have to go through the trouble to recalculate every time you use the item.
- Order kids meals at your favorite drive-thru. Small yet satisfying.
- At the restaurant - share your meal with a friend or ask the waiter to serve half of your entree on your plate and bring the other half in a to-go box.
- Avoid the buffet entirely to avoid temptation! (or at least until you have a good idea of practicing portion control) - or order from the menu.
- Choose whole foods (apple, banana, boiled egg) for satisfying staying power and proper portion size.
Accept that it is possible to feel satisfied by eating smaller portions, plan ahead, pause to enjoy each bite and try a few of these tips to take charge of your weight loss and management efforts. Soon you will feel empowered and confident with your choices. And the results will be evident on the scale.
CHALLENGE: choose two days this week to weigh, measure and track everything you eat and drink. Notice how you feel physically and emotionally.
And remember...Portion Right Before Each Bite!