7 Ways to Size Down Your Portions

By Dr. Jean Harvey, Ph.D., R.D., Joyce Hendley, M.S., EatingWell Editors, "Portions Visualized," The EatingWell Diet (2007)

Don’t let supersized portions sabotage your healthy eating.

Train your eye. In your own kitchen, have a little session in which you measure out an accurate portion of the foods you eat regularly—say, cereal, soup, pasta, pretzels—into one type of bowl, to create visual memory of how they look and just how they fill the bowl. Use that bowl every time you eat that food. (Extra credit: Use a permanent marker to write the amount of food the bowl holds on the bottom of the bowl. Then you’ll always know what you’re getting.)

Ask for an extra salad plate. In a restaurant, get a smaller side plate or hold on to the bread plate, if it’s large enough, and transfer the proper-size portions of your food onto it when you’re served your entree. Ask the waiter to take away and wrap up the rest.

Buy single-serving packages. Do this for all tempting foods—snack-size cookie or chip bags, pudding cups, fun-size candy bars. Or divide a larger package into single portions and put them in individual small plastic bags.

Read labels. Make sure you’re eating a single portion of packaged foods. If your bag of pretzels has 2 servings, take out half and put the rest away for tomorrow’s snack.

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