The portion control plate is one easy way to control your portion sizes without having to count calories with every meal. This simple system allows you to use visual estimations of an appropriate portion size for all the major food groups in order to keep you within the recommended serving sizes (and therefore begin losing weight).
Some of these portions may seem quite small in the beginning, especially if you are used to supersized meals, however with a little practice and these tips, you can easily control your portions in no time. To further track how much you are eating, use the calorie counting feature available at Fitday.
Portion Control Tip #1: Learn Measurements
When you are at home using your portion control plate, it is brainless to dole out your portions. However, to effectively control portion size, you need to know how to do it on the go. Your hand makes a great impromptu measuring device – a clenched fist equals about 1 cup, or the serving size of pasta, rice, vegetables, fruit and cereal. A portion of meat should be no bigger than your palm. Added fats like butter, salad dressing or mayo should be limited to about the size of the tip of your thumb. Learning these measurements early on can help you make good eating decisions when out of your home (and away from your portion control plates).
Portion Control Tip #2: Use Smaller Plates
At some point in the last 20 years, the average American dinner plate expanded to fit the supersize lifestyle of Americans. The larger plate size makes people fill their plates more, and thus eat more calories. However, if you use smaller plates, you feel like you are getting more and tend to not eat as much. When fixing appropriate serving sizes on a large plate, your meal may look lost in all the space, but using a smaller plate makes your food seem much more plentiful.
Portion Control Tip #3: Eat at Regular Times
When using the portion control plate, it is easy to see how much of everything you should be getting (with the visual reminders right on the plate). However, if you don’t eat at regular times every day, you are more likely to overdo it at your next meal, even with a portion control plate. You should make regular meal and snack times, and stick to them to really see success in cutting your calories.
Portion Control Tip #4: Increase Salad Intake
If you are finding that you are not full or remaining full after eating your meal, try eating more salads and fruit (especially at the beginning of a meal). By doing this, you can help to control your hunger and make yourself feel full, while not overdoing it with the calories.
Portion Control Tip #5: Use Your Stomach as a Gauge
Once you get in the habit of using a portion control plate, you will become more accustomed to letting your stomach guide your fullness (and not your eyes). Listening to your body’s natural signs about when it’s hungry or full is the best way to work with your portion control plate to cut caloric intake.
Sometimes these signals can be overlooked due to consistent overeating or dieting, but using the portion control plate and training yourself should allow you to accurately judge whether or not you're hungry.