Wellness Matters

How to Downsize Your Portions and Appetite in 12 Easy Steps

November 29, 2016

Giant sodas, large dinner plates and king-sized snacks make eating the right amounts of food difficult. Serving sizes have changed quite a bit over the last 20 years. In the 1980’s an order of fries averaged 210 calories. Today it averages 610 calories. Then, a slice of pizza was 500 calories and now it averages 850 calories. A soda that was 85 calories is now 250 calories.

Here are 12 tips to downsize your portions and also decrease your appetite. 
  1. Try to plan your meals and snacks. Don’t get stuck having to buy something that will be filling with little nutrition.
  2. Balance meals with healthy choices such as carbohydrates, lean protein, vegetables and small amounts of fat.
  3. Pick foods that are filling and nutritious for the calories they provide. Good choices would be whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, beans, any veggies or fruits, and lean, skinless meats.
  4. Make larger portions by blending vegetables with meat and starch. An example of this would be stir-fry or a stew.
  5. Start with small portions and slow down your eating. Put your utensil down between each bite. If you are still hungry when you have finished your meal, wait 10-15 minutes. If you find you are still hungry, eat another small portion.
  6. Make a plan for encountering adverse situations, such as the Krispy Kreme “Hot Now” sign. (hint: keep driving)
  7. Don’t skip meals. Your hunger will catch up to you when you skip and you will end up overeating.
  8. Eat enough food. In an effort to lose weight, many folks limit their calorie intake too severely and trigger food cravings and may lower their metabolism which makes losing weight more difficult.
  9. Make gradual changes. Decrease portion sizes over a reasonable amount of time so that your body can get used to having less food.
  10. Identify eating triggers. These may include an end-of-workday snack, boredom, depression or late-night munchies. Be conscious of these triggers and redirect your thoughts of food elsewhere.
  11. Remind yourself of how unhealthy junk foods are. Think of plaque building up in your arteries and how hard your pancreas is working to process these foods.
  12. Try to involve the whole family in portion control. Obesity is an epidemic not just with adults, but also with youth.
A healthy weight can be achieved through good lifestyle choices. Besides controlling the amount of food you eat, it is important to drink enough water, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. 

BONUS TIP: Regular physical activity controls appetite and food cravings while also burning calories.
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About the Author

Leslie Williams, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietician at Wesley Long Hospital
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