Weight gain isn’t always about what we are eating – often, we just don’t realize how much we are eating.

     Even if we’re filling our plates with healthier dishes, eating too much can rack up the calories and pack on the pounds.

     For weight loss, nutrition experts say we should practice “portion control” – cutting down the amount we eat in order to reduce the calories we are consuming. We can still eat our favorite foods, just not in the supersized portions many of us have gotten used to.

     Here are 10 tried-and-true ways to make portion control a daily habit:

Divide it.  Assemble the meal on your plate using this formula:  ¼ of the plate for protein, ¼ for carbohydrates and ½ for salad or cooked vegetables.

Dish it. Use a smaller plate. Your meal will look bigger even though you’re really eating less.

Savor it. Slowly enjoy every bite of your portion-controlled meal or snack and you will feel more satisfied than if you had blown through a mountain of food. Bonus: Eating more slowly gives your body time to tell your brain it’s full.

Move it: Keep serving dishes far away from the table. It’s easier to keep your portions in check when extra helpings are not within arm’s reach.

Store it: Break up leftovers into single-serving containers so you won’t be tempted to reheat a much larger portion later.

Buy it. Some companies are now individually wrapping single snack servings – that’s how we package our Uncle Wally’s Fun Muffins, Snack Muffins and Fiber One Muffins – making it easier to keep portions in check. Reduced-size products, like Uncle Wally’s new Mini Muffins, can help you satisfy your cravings without overindulging.

Bag it. If you bring home a big bag of a tempting snack food, split it up into single-serve plastic baggies right away. Studies show people don’t realize how much they are eating when they eat from a large bag.

Halve it. At restaurants, ask the waiter to package up half your dinner. You’ll cut that meal’s calories in half, and you can enjoy the rest the next day – at no extra charge!

Downsize it. Ordering a kid-sized meal automatically limits portion size.

Work it. Give your mind and body time to adjust to smaller portions. Soon it will become second nature, and over time you should notice a difference in your clothes and on the scale.


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