How to Control Your Portions and Avoid Overeating

Control Portions

for Optimal Health

If you’ve tried and failed to control your portions and avoid overeating, you’re not alone. Overeating can lead to long-term health and weight issues and is a hard habit to break. Overeating is not just a physical issue—it’s also a mental and visual challenge. The good news is that with conscious effort and planning, you can learn to control your portions and avoid overeating.

Control Your Serving Sizes

One of the best ways to control your portions and avoid overeating is to get an understanding of what a normal serving size should be. Many of us create our own servings based on cravings and hunger levels instead of using averages of standard servings. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the general recommended average daily servings of food vary from the following:

  • Grains – 6 ounces
  • Vegetables – 2-4 cups
  • Fruits – 1.5 – 2 cups
  • Dairy – 3 cups
  • Protein – 5- 6.5 ounces

It can be hard to envision how much a cup or an ounce of food is, so use your hand to estimate a serving size. For instance, one cup of vegetables or fruits is equivalent to a baseball-sized portion, while an ounce of grains or protein is equivalent to the size of two dice.

Start Late and Eat Early

Starting late and eating early is a strategy to manage portions and avoid overeating. Overeating usually occurs after 6pm, which most doctors consider the cut-off time for eating. Make a goal to eat your last meal of the day around 5pm and limit snacks after 6pm. If you give yourself hourly reminders to stop eating, you are more likely to stick to your plan and not overindulge.

Give Yourself Time To Digest

Digestion is a process that takes time, usually about 4-5 hours for each meal. Schedule time for digestion in between meals and snacks, so that your stomach has time to digest food before eating again. Giving your body adequate time to absorb nutrients and digest food can help you to naturally gauge portion control and avoid feeling overly full.

Smaller Plates, More Flavors

Try to fill small plates with big flavors, as this will help you monitor your portions. For instance, enjoy a colorful array of different vegetables with a lean protein and a whole grain. Filling small plates with a variety of flavors and textures will help you eat slowly and savor the tastes, while enjoying bigger portions with less food.

Be Mindful of Hunger Cues

Mindful eating is a great habit to help you control your portions and avoid overeating. Become aware of your hunger cues, such as feeling lightheaded or having an empty stomach. Once you start to feel these symptoms, immediately reach for a healthy snack. Listening to your body can help you control your portions, instead of overindulging.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have an easier time controlling your portions and avoiding overeating. Taking the time to plan and be mindful of your eating habits is key to avoiding overeating and overindulging, and ultimately leads to healthier eating habits and improved health.

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