(RxWiki News) Maintaining a healthy weight is not always about what you eat — often, it's about how much you eat.
In fact, portion sizes play a big role in weight loss and maintenance. But it's often a struggle to stick to healthy portions without feeling like you're depriving yourself too much.
That's why we have put together these quick and simple tips for reducing portion sizes. Read on to learn more.
Don't Be Afraid to Snack
Forget the common wisdom to avoid snacking in between meals. While you do need to pay attention to your overall calorie intake and the healthfulness of the foods you consume, the act of eating a snack in between meals isn't going to hurt your weight goals.
In fact, it might help. That's because eating a healthy snack — preferably one with plenty of fiber — in between meals can prevent you from going overboard at your next meal.
Ask for a To-Go Box from the Get-Go
When you're dining out, you're probably used to getting served massive portions on massive plates. And that makes it really difficult to remain mindful of your portion sizes and overall calorie intake.
Often, restaurant plates will contain two, three or more servings of a given food on a single dish. So, cut the problem in half by asking the server to bring a to-go box out with your meal. Before you take the first bite, place half of everything into the to-go box.
That way, you reduce your portion size and get a tasty meal of leftovers later on.
Pre-Portion Your Meals
At home, you may prepare big pots, pans, or plates full of food for yourself and your family, and that's wonderful. But it can be difficult to stay conscious of portion sizes when you're working with such a large total amount of food.
That's why it can be so helpful to set aside individual portions of food ahead of time. That way, when you're hungry for lunch, you can grab a single container from the fridge and know you have the perfect healthy portion.
Don't Eat Straight from the Bag or Box
The same goes for snacking — set aside individual portions of snacks like chips or pretzels rather than eating directly from the bag or box.
Why? Because you can't really keep track of how much you've eaten when you're eating straight from the container, and that's not going to help you keep portion sizes under control.
Use Smaller Dishes
If you use big plates, you're likely to grab big portions to try to fill more of those plates. It's just the way the human mind tends to work, but that means you can use this to your advantage by simply choosing smaller dishes.
That way, your appropriately sized portions will look like they fill up more of the plate, and you may feel less deprived as you try to lose or maintain weight.
Go Heavy on Veggies
Vegetables are, in general, good for you, so if you're going to go big on one portion on your dinner plate, make it the vegetable. That's not to say, of course, that all versions of all vegetables are completely healthy. It's only stating a fact: Vegetables tend to have more vitamins and minerals, fewer calories, and less fat than meats and other foods.
By choosing more of the vegetable when you want a bigger portion, you're eating more of the healthiest thing on your plate. And that's much better than the alternative.
Talk to your health care provider before making any major changes to your diet.