5 simple strategies for effortless portion control to help you reach or maintain your healthy, happy weight.
We made it to week three of the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge! How are you feeling? I am down five more pounds since Christmas so I would like to personally thank all of you for being so active with the #HealthyNewYear Challenge!
When Dara and I originally created a Facebook group for the challenge, we never imagined it would turn into such an active online community. We loving the daily interaction, success stories and words of encouragement being exchanged in there so keep it up!
Since we’ve already tackled staying hydrated and being active, it’s time to move on to my next favorite subject: portion control. Ok I’m kidding, who loves portion control? I certainly don’t. And if you’ve read my weight loss story, you know that healthy eating was never a problem growing up – it was eating too much of that healthy food.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned losing over 65 pounds, it’s that you that you can not out train a poor diet. In fact, I often say that the secret to weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise. Don’t quote me on that, it’s just my hunch based on my personal experience.
The good news? It’s a whole heckuva lot easier to eat clean and watch portions that do wall squats in boot camp. Ouch.
To help you with this week’s challenge, here are 5 strategies for effortless portion control:
1. Invest in Smaller Plates: We eat with our eyes before we even take the first bite of food. I don’t know about you, but two tablespoons of hummus looks a lot less depressing on a smaller plate filled with veggies and seedy crackers. Dara recently introduced me to Q Squared NYC’s Round Ruffle collection and I am in love with the appetizer plates shown above.
2. Snack-Sized Bags FTW: We spend most mornings outside of the house at playdates or the gym so when we finally get home for lunch, the boys are frantic monsters ready for food and a nap, stat. Since I usually don’t get to sit down for lunch until 1pm or later, I like to keep snack-sizes baggies of nuts in my car to eat on the drive home. They are the perfect size for the one ounce portion of nuts.
3. Make Veggies the Star of the Show: One reason I cook so much ethnic food is because it is often naturally more nutritious and vegetable-centric than the standard meat and potatoes American diet. Whether it’s these Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups, a bowl of Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken and Cauliflower or a steaming bowl of Mexican Chicken Posole, find inspiration from around the world and make veggies the star of the plate.
4. Use a Food Diary for One Week: Whether you are looking to lose weight or simply want to maintain, I am a big fan of using an online food diary. If you’ve never weighed out a 2 ounce portion of pasta or a 5 ounce glass of wine, you might be surprised to see what a proper portion looks like. (Another reason why I love the Ruffle collection from Q Squared NYC.) By keeping a food diary and measuring portions for just one week, you’ll be able to eyeball four ounces of chicken or a tablespoon of peanut butter making it easy to keep servings in check.
5. Cook At Home More Frequently: One of the hands down easiest ways to ensure proper portions is to simply cook at home more frequently. No matter what, whenever you eat out you are likely going to consume more calories, fat and sodium than you would had you prepared the dish at home. And if you’re looking for fun new dishes, I’d like to add that Q Squared NYC’s dishware isBPA-Free, made from high-quality melamine (toddler proof!) and is dishwasher safe. I am crushing on the Victorian green plates!!
Want more ideas? Be sure to check out Dara’s Portion Control Tips & Tricks for Healthy Living.
Ok it’s your turn – what are your best tips for keeping portions in check? Do you take half of your meal home when you eat out? Split an entree with your spouse? Let’s hear your best ideas!
Your fork is waiting.
Disclosure: We are thrilled to have Q Squared NYC as a sponsor of the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.