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Portion Control and How to Curb Overeating

Portion Plate – Use the plate as a guide when determining the amount of food items you eat at each meal. The plate should look as follows:

½ plate should be fruits and vegetables
¼ plate should be made up of whole grains
¼ plate should be made up of lean protein

Take a standard serving out of the package and eat it off of a plate instead of eating straight out of the bag. Studies have shown that people are more likely to consume more when eating straight from the bag.

Share a meal with someone when eating out. Most people have the mentality that we are not finished eating until our plates are clean. The clean-plate mentality often leads to overeating due to the larger portion sizes that are served today. By splitting a meal with someone you will likely eat a healthier portion size and prevent overeating.

Avoid eating in front of the TV or while busy with other activities as this causes mindless eating which can lead to overeating.

Eat slowly so that the brain can get the message that the stomach is full. When we eat too quickly we delay the feeling of fullness and therefore tend to overeat. Eating too fast also makes it harder for our digestive system to function properly, resulting in poor digestion, including indigestion and heartburn.

Eat a small snack such as an apple or some carrots before going out to eat. By eating something small before you go out, your hunger is better controlled allowing you to make more conscientious food choices.

Eating before you go shopping can not only save you a few dollars, but it can also be the healthier alternative. When grocery shopping, people are more inclined to buy more (junk) on an empty stomach. Not only do people spend around 10%-15% more when grocery shopping hungry, they also tend to load up on unhealthy items.

Ask for dressings and sauces on the side so you can control how much is used. Dressings and sauces are typically high fat, high calorie food items that add little nutritional value to a meal.

Take seconds of vegetables and salad instead of higher fat, higher calorie foods if you are going to go back for seconds. These food items have a lower calorie content but are more nutrient dense.

Wait at least 10 minutes before going back for seconds. Allow your body time to digest the food you’ve just eaten before deciding whether or not you are still hungry. You will probably find that you are not as hungry as you thought you were right after you finished your meal.

When cooking in large batches, freeze food that will not be served right away to minimize the temptation to finish eating the whole batch before the food goes bad.

Eat 5-6 smaller meals regularly throughout the day instead of a few larger meals to prevent overeating. By eating more meals throughout the day, people tend to eat smaller portion sizes and typically chose more nutrient dense food items.

Eat breakfast daily as it jumpstarts your metabolism and can prevent from overeating later in the day. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast typically make better food choices throughout the day and tend to eat smaller portion sizes.

When you do splurge and eat a treat, such as cookies or ice cream, eat only one serving, eat it slowly, and enjoy it!

Serve meals with smaller utensils and use smaller plates, cups, and bowls. People tend to serve themselves more food when using larger serving utensils and plates. Research has shown that people tend to perceive the amount of food to be greater on a smaller plate when using a smaller plate than when the same amount of food is served on a larger plate.

Pre-portion tempting treats. People tend to eat less of a food item when the portion has been pre-determined.

Keep tempting food items put away in cupboards where they cannot be seen. We are more likely to reach for food items that are out and easy to access. Instead, put fruits and vegetables or other healthy food items out on the counter.

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