According to recent statistics, 26.7% of Americans are obese. One of the reasons, say experts, is that we struggle with eating the right amount of food. Restaurants and fast food chains offer oversized and super-sized entrees that distort our perception of proper portion sizes, and emotional eating can cause us to eat too much before we even realize it. Try these tips for getting portions under control.
- Never eat straight from the container. If you’re snacking from a bag, it’s hard to determine exactly how much you’re eating. Instead, put your food into a bowl or plate so that you can actually see your portion size.
- Let your plate be your guide. Many nutritionists recommend dictating portion size by strategically dividing up your dinner plate. Fill half your plate with vegetables. Split the remaining half of your plate equally between proteins and carbohydrates.
- Stop when you’re full. Eating more slowly and deliberately can make it easier to recognize the physical cues that you’ve had enough to eat. When your stomach signals that you’ve had enough, put the fork down no matter how much food is left on your plate.
- Understand why you’re eating. Physical hunger is just one reason why we eat. Many people also eat out of habit, boredom, or to deal with feelings like stress or sadness. If you’re not eating because your body is physically hungry, you may be more likely to eat large portions and make poor food choices.