If you want to commit to becoming more in tune with your body, hunger and portion sizes in 2018, here are the first 5 things you can do to help reduce your overeating and improve your portion control:
- Pre-portion – Whether it is your snack, dinner or special treat, portioning out your food ahead of time and not simply eating out of the packet or freely scooping from the container is a great way to ensure that you are able to keep your portions under control. If you are eating out of the packet, it is hard to keep track of how much you have consumed. Placing the food on your plate or in a bowl offers a realistic visual picture of exactly how much you are going to be consuming and helps you maintain that realistic portion.
- Put way leftovers – Don’t leave temptation looming on the counter. Each night after you dish up dinner, immediately put leftovers in a container for lunch the next day or to go into the fridge to be eaten for dinner another night. Leaving them out on the counter simply opens an invitation for you to leave the table and start grazing on whatever is in sight as soon as you finish dinner.
- Don’t use clear containers – If you put your leftovers, or open packages in clear containers, every time you open the fridge or the cupboard, you see what is inside and are reminded of the fact that you have the item in your house. Even if you didn’t want the food at the time, after seeing it, now you do! Curb this issue by storing food and packages in bags or containers that you can’t see into. Now every time you open the cupboard, each thing is just another bag and you won’t even know what is inside.
- Don’t let it in the house – If you know that you aren’t good at resisting certain foods, or that even placing them out of sight won’t stop you from going after them, make it easy on yourself and leave them out of the house. It is okay to not buy certain items that you know are your weakness or that you can never eat with control and stop after just one. In fact, it shows a great deal of personal responsibility and commitment to recognizing this and choosing not to buy them.
- Listen to your body – Perhaps the hardest and yet most important tactic when it comes to controlling portion size and food intake, is to simply become aware of your hunger and listen to your body. Often our degree of hunger and its severity is influenced by emotion, our social surrounding, or even other physical objects in our surroundings. In many cases we let these things influence our hunger cues and fail to recognize when we are hungry and when we are full. Work on becoming more in tune with your body and understanding what it feels like to be hungry and full.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition