Making your own snacks and meals is a surefire way to help you keep track of calories and maintain your weight. Since eyeballing your servings can be iffy, keep yourself honest and prevent overeating with these portion-control products.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it's also the place that can make or break you on the weight loss front. If you're on a quest to slim down, do these nine things in your kitchen.
- Make fruits as accessible as a bag of chips: Wash, cut up, and store fruits such as grapes, melon, kiwi, pineapple, and apples in reusable containers in the fridge so they're easy to grab. Make sure they're right up front at eye level so they're the first thing you see when you open the fridge door.
- Prepare a big container of salad: Having a salad before dinner is a great way to fill you up so you eat less of the main course, but preparing a salad every night takes so much time that it's tempting to skip out. Ensure you get a bowl of greens every night by making an enormous bowl of salad at the beginning of the week. You're sure to eat a salad with dinner if it's already made — just scoop out a bowl, top with vinaigrette, and enjoy.
- Have measuring cups and spoons on the counter: Measuring your food will keep portions in check since overestimating serving sizes is a huge reason people don't lose weight. Seeing measuring spoons and cups on your kitchen counter will be a visual reminder not to forget to use them.
Keep reading to find out other ways your kitchen can help you lose weight.
Portion control is key to dropping pounds, and your hands are the perfect tool for keeping your portions in check. We've created this handy guide to help you stay honest when it comes to serving sizes.
Want a copy to take with you? Download and print this handy portion control guide.
At its most basic, weight loss is a simple equation of calories in and calories out, which makes keeping track of what you're eating that much more important. "But what's the point," you ask, "when I'm already sticking to a healthy diet?" While we'd never tell you to stop eating avocados, nuts, or whole-wheat pasta, these foods (and others) are notoriously calorie-dense. If you're on the path to weight loss, it's no easy journey, but some simple reminders about portion control will ensure your healthy snack of nut butter and fruit doesn't become the calorie equivalent of an entire meal.
- Start with the basics: Before you can even begin to know what your meal plan will break down to, you first need to learn what your daily calorie requirements are. Keep in mind that the daily requirement is different for everyone based on certain factors like activity level, age, and gender. Use this handy calorie calculator to figure out your requirement, and even when dieting, make sure to never let calorie counts fall below 1,200. From here, you can better understand what the calorie counts should look like for your meals and snacks.
- It's all about balance: Proper portion control is hugely about balance; it's important that your diet is filled with all the necessary nutrient requirements — every day. The USDA guidelines are a good place to start, but if you have to make adjustments for a specialized diet, then make sure each meal consists of protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fresh produce.
- The right tools: To not overdo it on serving sizes, read food labels, and invest in a good set of measuring cups and spoons. When all else fails, use your fist as a way to measure carbs, the palm (no fingers) to measure protein, and the thumb should be the visual cue for fats (except for nuts, which should equal a small handful). Go ahead and eat all the veggies you want — no limits there!
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Mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie: Thanksgiving is the day that many of us eat anything (and everything) we want. With the average Thanksgiving meal running well over 2,500 calories, it can be hard to manage the day when you're watching your weight or counting calories. To make the day healthy, enjoyable, but still indulgent, here are a few tips on creating a Thanksgiving day plate — especially when you're not in charge of the cooking — that won't blow your calorie counts for the day.
Use a Smaller Plate
Studies show that food intake is related to plate size. We're taught to fill our plates and eat every last morsel from them; very often we finish our food before that "full feeling" even has a chance to reach us. Prevent mindless eating by using a smaller plate at dinner (aim for a plate that's between eight and 10 inches); if your host doesn't have a smaller plate, don't feel the need to entirely cover the one you are using or have to finish everything you served yourself.
Think About Portions
The last thing you want to do is to feel like you are depriving yourself on Thanksgiving, so don't. Instead of telling yourself certain foods are off limits, just be smart about your serving sizes. Avoid making huge piles on your plate; instead, give yourself a small taste of everything with an emphasis on whole grains, veggies, and protein. Need a little more guidance? Follow these tips for getting portions under control.
See five more tips for creating a healthy Thanksgiving plate after the break!
In the past, researchers found this to be the case with rats (they consistently preferred four pellets of food compared to a single large pellet), but the human reaction to this form of portion control had yet to be tested. Author Devina Wadhera and her team put 301 college students to the test. Each student was given a bagel — either a whole or cut into four pieces. Twenty minutes after chowing down, the students got to enjoy as much as they wanted from a measured amount of food at a free lunch — aka an undergrad's dreamworld.
Students who were given the whole, uncut bagel ate more calories from both the bagel and the free meal than the students who were given the bagel into four pieces. It looks like this manipulation of portion control could be another great way to enjoy healthful food while remaining mindful.
How do you tackle portion control? Share below!
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, there is so much talk about portion size. Since we're living in the age of Super Size Me, bottomless this, and all-you-can-eat that, we've really lost sight of what an actual serving size is.
Keep on reading to see a chart showing what a serving size of most foods looks like.
You may be cautious about what you eat, but how well do you pay attention to the amount of food you are consuming? Portion sizes have steadily increased over the last 50 years, which is why it's important to be mindful of the quantity of food you're eating. Eating healthy, balanced portions is not only essential for losing weight, but for keeping it off as well. Here are some quick and easy portion control tips to keep in mind the next time you sit down for a meal.
With all the large servings of food around, it's important to control your portions. Mindless eating can be controlled with little tricks, like not eating out of the container and using smaller plates to make them look fuller.
It's one thing to see what you're eating, but knowing what's in it is important as well. An easy way to keep portions in check is to be able to estimate how many calories are in your meal. Check out a handy guide on what 100 calories of your food looks like after the break.
If you're a fast food frequenter, you've probably heard the term "supersize" more than you'd care to admit. While obesity continues to grow as an epidemic, it seems the question we should be hearing is, "Would you like to minimalize that?" Since it's not given as an option at most eateries (doesn't exactly help the bottom line, right?), try posing the question to yourself before ordering your meal.
Instead of getting a large bowl of soup and a house salad, consider going down a notch from your usual size order. Ask for a small salad or sandwich or even an appetizer for your entree. Chances are, the smaller portion will satiate your appetite just fine. In addition to it filling your belly adequately, the smaller size is likely in tune with recommended portions and will save you a buck or two on the bill. Besides, if you are still hungry after the gobbled grub, you can always order more.