Habits to Help Eat Less Without Feeling Like It

Use a smaller plate:
    Plate sizes have increased significantly in past years. The average dinner plate in the 1960’s was 8 inches in diameter, followed by 10” in the 80’s, and now today’s dinner plates are a whopping 12 inches! This increase is significant because of the many studies showing that people consume more when presented with a larger amount of food. Whether the subject was given a smaller dinner plate or a large restaurant-sized plate, they tended to consume 70% of the contents.

Make your own single-serving packs:
    It’s easy to sit down in front of the TV with a pack of cookies or chips, then mindlessly eat until they’re gone. Try separating out the correct portion sizes ahead of time so that you have an external stopping point, for the same psychological reason that you should use smaller plates. Preparing grab-and-go baggies with your favorite healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, or cheeses also make it more convenient to bring something to nibble on while you’re out of the house, preventing you from getting too hungry and making less healthy choices.

Get to know your favorite foods and dishes:
    Use a kitchen scale or measuring cups to put your most commonly used foods into its appropriate dish, so that you learn to “eyeball” it accurately. This will allow you to keep using the correct portion sizes without having to use the measuring tools every single time. For example, a serving size of ice cream is rarely the size of your bowl, so it helps to cut consumption when you’re able to quickly estimate how much you should really be eating without outside influences skewing your judgement.

Measure your food— don’t pour directly:
    Rather than pouring rice or chips from a bag to prepare them, scoop using the appropriate measuring cup to ensure that you don’t make more than necessary. When pouring oil, pour the oil into a teaspoon then onto the food, rather than onto the food directly. This expands on the previous estimation tip. Don’t trust your eyes– they’re bigger than your stomach!

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