Do You Have Portion Control Problems?


Do You Have Portion Control Problems?
A little more won't hurt ... right?

By GalTime's Nutritionist, Elisa Zied, MS RD CDN

When you eat or drink, do you often find it difficult if not impossible to stop eating or drinking when you've had enough and even when you're full?


You're definitely not alone … countless people have just the same problem leaving a few chips or cookies in a bag, leaving soda in a can, or leaving unfinished food like pasta, steak, or whatever on a plate. I know I once did, too. A friend once asked me "How can you throw that away?" after I ate only half of a small ice cream cone? I simply told her that after years of dieting and deprivation (in my late teens and early twenties), I have learned to have what I like, savor and enjoy it, and stop when I'm comfortable. I don't need to eat the whole thing. I never feel like not finishing the food on my plate or beverage in my cup is a bad thing; I don't try to be wasteful, but when I've had enough, I've had enough.

Related: Do You Trust the "Serving Size" On Packages?

Years of practicing portion control have helped me truly learn to:

  • Enjoy whatever food or beverage I consume
  • Incorporate a wider variety of food into my eating pattern
  • No longer associate meals or snacks or any foods or beverages with guilt — because I allow myself small portions of whatever foods I choose, I never feel deprived and instead, feel satisfied when I eat what I enjoy, but simply don't have too much of it.

So, my friends, the Diet Do for today is to pare your portions when you can. I realize this is no easy task, given we live in a world in which supersized portions are the standard. And while it's tough, but not impossible, to find smaller portions at fast food and other restaurants, at convenience and grocery stores, and at ball parks and other sport or entertainment-related venues, practicing portion control is like an art form and must be practiced to be near-perfected. (after all, none of us can nor should want to be perfect … how boring that would be!)

Related: Our Healthy Favorite Grab and Go Snacks

Here are some ways to decrease portions painlessly at home or when you're out and about:

Before you buy or consume any packaged or processed food, get all the facts. Nutrition Facts panels on food or beverage packages (including bags, cans, cups, boxes, jars, or other containers) show you how many calories one serving of a food or beverage contains, and how many servings the package contains. Before you dig in (or gulp it down), ask yourself how many servings of the item you plan to have, and take the time to do the math to see if it fits into your daily calorie budget and if it's really worth it.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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