Certain situations can easily lead to overeating and you may not even realize you’re doing it. Restaurants with their super-sized portions make it difficult and even confusing to know when to put the fork down.
If your portions are too big, whether at a restaurant or at home, then chances are you are taking in too many calories, which can lead to weight gain rather than weight loss.
Here are 5 ways to decrease those super-sized portions and avoid overeating:
1. Know what a serving size is.
Here is a quick guide to determine the true size of a serving so you
can maintain food portion control. Keep this in mind next time you
reach in the fridge or cupboard — or print it out and post it there:
A Tennis Ball = A medium-sized fruit
A Baseball = A cup of salad greens or cereal
A Golf Ball = 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or potato
A Ping-Pong Ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
A Deck of Cards = 3 oz of meat, fish, or poultry
A Shot Glass = 2 tablespoons of salad dressing
Size of Average Thumb = 1 oz of cheese
Size of Thumb Tip = 1 teaspoon of oil
2. Read nutrition labels.
Often it’s easy to mindlessly munch on snack foods and end up consuming 2, 3, or even 4 servings, especially when dealing with high-calorie foods like crackers or chips. So read those nutrition labels to find out exactly what and how much you’re eating or drinking. You may be surprised to find out how small a serving really is and that you’re easily overdoing it.
An easy trick to avoid overeating snacks is to pre-portion them out in snack-size baggies. This way you can’t mindlessly munch through a bag of chips before realizing what you’ve done.
3. Only eat half.
When you go out to a restaurant only eat half of your meal. Most restaurants bring out super-sized portions enough for 2 or even 3 meals. To avoid overeating, have the waiter bring half of your dinner in a to-go box before you even get started, or you could even split the meal with another person. Another tip is to eat slowly and stop eating when you start to get full, rather than continuing until you’re overly full and uncomfortable.
4. Avoid all-you-can-eat.
Avoid buffets or all-you-can-eat situations whenever you can. As much as you think you will have total self-control and that you will only eat until you are no longer hungry, in reality that can be very difficult for many. When you have the option, choose restaurants where you can order your meal; but when you are faced with buffet-style events, have a plan of action, such as deciding beforehand to only fill up one plate of food and avoid going back for seconds.
5. Don’t let yourself get hungry.
One reason you may tend to overeat at certain meals is because you are hungry. If you regularly go long periods without eating, or don’t eat enough throughout the day, your chances of binging, especially at dinnertime, greatly increase. You may even think you’re doing good by eating less throughout the day, but the truth is you’re usually doing more harm and you often make up for it later in the day.
Instead, make sure you are eating something every 3-4 hours, even if it is a small snack. Avoid allowing yourself to get hungry. Now this doesn’t mean you always have to be full or stuffed, but making sure you have enough going in to avoid a grumbling, hungry stomach is ideal. This way when your next meal comes around you won’t be tempted to eat more than you need.
Sidney Wilson is a Las Vegas-based celebrity fitness trainer and lifestyle coach dedicated to providing his clients with the tools needed to “Get Vicious.” Through rigorous workouts and extensive nutrition coaching, Sidney trains clients at The Get Vicious Training Center located at 5693 South Jones Blvd. Suite 103, Las Vegas, NV 89118, or remotely around the world through his website www.sidneywilson.com. Sidney can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-226-6359.