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MSWILDROSE SparkPoints: (10,584)
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6/16/14 11:11 A

Speaking of WW...I bought a set of their measuring ladles. So you can ladle the correct amount of soups, etc... Last night I used the 1/2 cup ladle to ladle the correct amount of risotto onto my plate.

UKNOWITNOW SparkPoints: (64,539)
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6/15/14 9:55 P

I bought a small scale emoticon last week. It sure comes in handy. emoticon

No more guessing

Edited by: UKNOWITNOW at: 6/15/2014 (21:56)
KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
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6/15/14 8:08 P

I forgot one other portion control tip when I posted previously.

I buy the 5oz paper cups and don't fill them completely. I realize that dry and liquid measurements are slightly different but it sure beats eating a whole cup and I figure they will average out. I keep some at work so whenever anyone shows up with something to share that I decide I want to enjoy also (because life isn't about deprivation) I have a method by which to measure.

You could also get the little 3oz bathroom size cups and use those for certain high calorie dense foods.

BOPPY_ SparkPoints: (146,921)
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6/15/14 4:35 P

For me, the key to portion control is planning. Not just planning at the time I take a portion, but long-term planning.

1. I don't eat things that make me want more of those things. Rice, for me, is a principal example. Most bread also falls into this category.

2. I don't eat things where the calorie to satisfaction ratio is high. There are so many things that fall into this category that time and bits preclude a catalog. However, it includes all deep-fat fried foods, all fast foods, junk food such as potato chips, snack crackers, candy, cake (except for birthday celebrations), almost all packaged, processed foods, beef and pork sausages (including hot dogs), and beer and booze (most of the time--360 out of 365 days, at least).

3. I limit my meat intake to about 8 ounces per day. I usually only eat lean beef, chicken or pork. I rarely have chicken with the skin on it.Fish is an exception. Depending on the fat content, I'll have between .75 to 1.5 pounds of fish in lieu of any other animal protein. If I'm having trouble "making weight", I'll drop beef out of the equation first, AND will put a heavy emphasis on the animal protein IN the salad.

4. How do I know this? Because we shop based on the above and following rules, AND I weigh everything before I eat it. Every meal. Every snack. Every day. More that that, I plan out my day based on what I'm going to eat for dinner. This is especially important if I know I'm going to go out to eat for the dinner meal.

5. Breakfast is the important meal, in so many ways. Before I have breakfast, I've already weighed myself, and often have been on the treadmill for at least a warm-up walk. The weigh-in tells me how I'm doing and allows me to recommit to my program daily. My breakfast is almost always hearty. 13 out of 14 days, it's 80 grams (2 cups-- but weighed not not by volume--too much chance to cheat), and either dried fruit or berries, also weighed. I also have a spoonful or two (22 - 60) grams of Greek Yogurt that I take with medications. I will also have 6 cups of black coffee or decaf (usually, 2 of one and 4 of the other -- but weak in both cases.

Why all the emphasis on planning and measuring?

Because I don't know myself, and I am willing to bet that you don't know you! Moreover, our joint state of needing to lose weight means that we don't know our eating behavior and don't have "built-in" portion control.


Lee emoticon

TLEA53 Posts: 4,064
6/15/14 6:59 A

came to post, but got a good kick of inspiration from everyone!

MAMABEAR372 SparkPoints: (42,899)
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6/14/14 2:49 P

My blog post from the other day was about this. It is titled " If this can help someone". It shows portion sizes based on objects you know.

KYOSHI216 SparkPoints: (83,234)
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Posts: 50
6/14/14 12:31 P

I use a scale for snacks and a measuring cup for smoothies.

BENE38464 SparkPoints: (11,303)
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Posts: 2,547
6/13/14 1:42 P

I have never owned a scale, but I use measuring cups. I also have some serving dishes that I know hold a certain amount. In general, it helps to just use smaller plates and bowls!

SCOTTIEOWNER SparkPoints: (7,107)
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6/13/14 1:34 P

As other reviewers have stated, a set of food scales, measuring cups/spoons and downsizing plate can work to your benefit.

I also cut my meat very small giving the impression you are getting more which satisfies the "quantity" mindset.

Once every couple of months I fix a homemade veggie pizza with a thin Boboli pizza crust. Portion size states 1/6th of the crust so we cut it into 6 slices and then I cut my one piece into 2 pieces - again with the more visual.

I think of a situation I have been in where I was extremely uncomfortable or even embarrassed or humiliated about my weight and when I think about eating something that is not healthy or will push me over my daily numbers, I think back on that and do I want to feel that again. For me, that will cure any thoughts of "I want or I wish".

The first thing I do in the morning is plan out my meals for the day and rarely ever change it. I want to know exactly where I'm at with my numbers. For me, being structured in my meal planning keeps me accountable and disciplined. It works for me and I always say - do what works for you!

Edited by: SCOTTIEOWNER at: 6/13/2014 (13:41)
WINKY_EYE Posts: 131
6/13/14 10:10 A

I like all the ideas I have read so far. As a Nursing student, I am eating a lot of my meals at school or clinicals. I found the best way to portion control this past week is to use the containers that are already marked on the sides like the Ziplock bowls, and really small containers for things like nuts (I found a big bag of them for a $1 at Dollar Tree). I had some containers that was not marked at home already, so I actually filled them up using a measure cup so I know how much one holds. I have 3 cup containers for salads, 1/8 containers for dressing or nuts, several one cup containers that I can put cereal in and eat straight from that bowl. Also mason jars in various sizes are good for soups that you have to take on the go, they seal tight and don't leak in the lunch bag. I also use a quart size jar for my ice water because it stays cold for a long period, it is easier to wash than some water bottles, and it does not leak in my bag. If I drink another jar of water when I get home, I know I had my 8 glasses a day. I don't do a lot of snack bags because for one on a budget they can get pricey, and two they are not biodegradable waste which seems very wasteful to our environment. Hope that helps all :)

DSTENORE Posts: 87
6/12/14 12:43 P

A scale is an excellent investment when you are trying to lose weight!!! Measuring cups and Measuring spoons, and the scale. Try using salad plates for dinner plates, that will help keep the portion size down. If you want, weigh and measure your portions and precook food, put into containers already portioned. You can just grab a proportioned lunch or dinner, or snack. Use different colored lids, red for snacks, blue for lunch, green for dinner......

6/12/14 9:55 A

I am really good when I get home from the store to enter any new nutritional values & calorie counts into my favorite foods in the nutrition tracker. This way I can have it handy for tracking. I really am not good at portion control so I learned a lot of good tips from this post. weighing and measuring is my downfall or when I cook trying to figure out what a portion size really is, especially when recipes don't always give you that info. Thanks for posting all this great advice.

Edited by: SPARKINGRAMMY at: 6/12/2014 (11:57)
6/12/14 7:56 A

I assemble my whole plate before eating anything. Put the correct-size serving of meat on there, the veggies, whatever little side plates or bowls there will be, and pour the beverage. Then it looks like a tasty, full meal. It's a visual, psychological thing. The smaller plate and bowl idea really works. Slimmer Kiwi, thank you for the suggestion on also using a smaller size serving utensil. That's a great idea. If you use a giant shovel to heap food on your plate, it's going to be harder not to overeat.

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
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6/12/14 1:32 A

Weight & measure everything. It is what works. Having stated that, here's more to consider:

It might be easier to do when you bring home a large package of something, to separate it out yourself so it's ready to go. Then one isn't tempted as much to overeat that item. Some foods really matter a lot like meat which has more fat in it; if it's puffed cereal with mostly air, not so much. If it is a heavy dense food then it could be a lot of calories.

I found for me that I'm very visual and felt cheated with certain things so I either have 1.5 servings or double a normal one, and I choose food that have more bulk but are lower cal - lots of non-starchy veggies, some grains. I have stood in the aisle of the grocery store comparing - do I get only 1/2 C of cereal or can I get 2/3 C instead? You need to know what matters most to you.

I know that taste, mouth feel satisfaction, and the look is really important to me so once I knew those things and could work on my menu options taking them into consideration, I found that certain cravings and feelings of being deprived abated.

LIZABET13 SparkPoints: (14,890)
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Posts: 478
6/11/14 6:28 P

When you go on your long rides what do you eat? I'm wondering if I should take something when I go out for 2-3 hours. I always have lots of water, but notice a drop in my energy.

IMDADOGGIE SparkPoints: (42,022)
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Posts: 3,128
6/11/14 4:36 P

One of the best solutions to portions is to buy a child's divided plate at the dollar store and use it. If your food doesn't fit on it then you don't need it. Good luck.

SWEETPEA1399 SparkPoints: (56,279)
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6/11/14 1:00 P

Great tips for portion control!!

TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (55,048)
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Posts: 352
6/11/14 12:39 P

I just bought raisins in those little boxes. I take long bike rides and sometimes run out of energy. These fit great in my pocket and are portion controlled. I also track everything I plan to eat the night before, and often I will pack up my snack/lunch in containers so the next day, everything is ready to go and I am not rushing or cheating on my portion control.

GENIE72 SparkPoints: (1,874)
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Posts: 64
6/11/14 11:17 A

I like this. We did this at WW. Buy your snacks then portion control them immediately. I totally forgot about this.

I'm going to get a small box and put all my portioned snacks in it so I can grab without guilt when the "snackies" hit.

On my way to buy snack size baggies.

ATLGIRL12 Posts: 24
6/11/14 10:20 A

I think too if you opt for whole foods instead of frozen meals and packaged snacks, your portioning will come a lot easier. If you are snacking on a fruit or a hard boiled egg for instance, they come in a single serve size. If you fill your lunches and dinners with veggies, high fiber/protein beans and grains, you will be satisfied and feel "done" eating from the amount you are supposed to be eating. I don't know about anyone else but I can overeat chips and dip a lot easier than I'm prone to overeating healthy food. I just feel done from all that chewing after a while with healthy food!

SUGARSMOM2 SparkPoints: (235,097)
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6/11/14 9:57 A

i found a perfect portion bag it tells you that its a half cup or full cup and measures up the bag . so you know at a glance what serving size inside . i love it . so i put green beans or veggies into it and then freeze them . later i have it ready to go . it pays to look when shopping in the freezer bag part of the store . find many treasures . it a lot of little things that add up . be it doing excerises or eating it all adds up . can not do an hour then do ten min . try to do it at least 6 times everyday . that is an hour done in ten min . bits .

6/11/14 1:20 A

I agree with the other poster about measuring out portions into baggies. Today after grocery shopping, i separated a box of rice crackers into 100 calories portions and put into individual snack bags. I'm less likely to overeat if i have the bag rather than a whole box. If often a hassle, but if you do it right away its over and done and the food is ready to be responsibly eaten (of course, then i add to sparkpeople so that when i do eat it, its already in the database)

6/11/14 1:14 A

I weigh or measure everything I am cooking/preparing and entering into Sparkpeople BEFORE I even eat it!! In the past i would enter afterwards and shocked at how many calories! Now, i know in advance how many calories i will be eating. This prevents me from going off track.

6/11/14 1:09 A

I order an appetizer or two instead of entree. i used to order appetizer and entree but by the time the entree came, i would be full and so i figured an appetizer alone will fill me up. Sometimes i'll order a side salad and appetizer or I'll order 3 appetizers and split with my friend. I so rarely order entrees anymore - they're often just too much food!

HMBROWN1 Posts: 14,228
6/10/14 1:42 P

Tried and true - I get a take out container and put 1/2 the meal in before I start eating.

COLLEENBOB SparkPoints: (25,119)
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6/10/14 1:35 P

Through volunteer work I go to a lot of potlucks, where portion control is a challenge for me. Someone has always made something special that "You HAVE to try"!

My rule of thumb now is that I can have 3 to 4 small bites of anything, and I enjoy each bite. The first bite is an explosion of flavor and texture, wow; I enjoy the second bite with concentration, by the third bite I'm satisfied, only rarely do I take a fourth bite. I'm satisfied and not feeling deprived, and the cook is happy that I've enjoyed the fruits of his/her labor.

6/8/14 1:32 P

I find most restaurant portions to be huge, so I generally aim to eat just about half of my entree when I'm out at a restaurant. I physically push the food into one half of the plate, like a half moon, so I can see when I've achieved this. That half-moon shape is my signal to stop eating and take the rest home.

Edited by: NEWYORKCHICK at: 6/8/2014 (13:33)
BELLENGLISH Posts: 1,391
6/8/14 11:44 A

Use a smaller plate for your food or serve child size portions instead.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (252,233)
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Posts: 12,576
6/8/14 11:05 A

measure and weigh

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,119)
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Posts: 729
6/8/14 9:51 A

I have a chart on my fridge from I LOVE it. I can measure everything visually, which is a strength I have so, it's less time consuming then to measure and weigh.

SHARIEANNE SparkPoints: (9,794)
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6/8/14 9:44 A

There are probably other brands out there, but WW sells serving utensils with the measurements on them. I am thinking of putting out my measuring spoons and measuring cups every night before I go to be so I get the visual as soon as I get to the kitchen ( and before I open the fridge!)

VUKELK Posts: 622
6/8/14 8:34 A

There's some many tools available these days to keep portions under control. I just got a serving utensil from a health fair at work which I love and use almost daily. There's so many containers that have measurements on the side so there's no second guessing. These work great for work lunches. I'm a firm believer in snack bags. Perfect size for me. When items come home from the store, they get sorted into the snack ziploc bags. My grab and go section. It takes time on the front end but I'm more likely to not overeat.

SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,039
6/7/14 9:24 P

Downsizing the dinner plate and bowl for desserts and breakfast is a good start and one that a lot of people think of, but one that a lot do NOT think of is to downsize your utensils, too. If you use a teaspoon for the yoghurt, custard or mousse, etc., then you need to put it to your mouth more than a dessertspoon. This can give the impression that you are eating more, especially when you have downsized the serve from large to smaller. Smaller forks generally mean smaller portions to the mouth - again more hand-to-mouth than with the larger forks.

As has already been stated, there is nothing quite the same as weighing and recording all you food.

If you drink wine, try using a smaller glass. Most people think that a glass in a 300 - 400 ml glass is a serve - think again because it is tons less. Using the smaller glass you are more inclined to drink more slowly and still enjoy yourself.


KAKONOLADY SparkPoints: (17,041)
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6/7/14 2:49 P

everyone else pretty much nailed it but I will add that if you drink a full glass of water before eating--will help you eat less without even needing to measure (would recommend doing that whenever you eat out at a restaurant)!!!0Crystal

FORMOTHER SparkPoints: (48,271)
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Posts: 642
6/7/14 2:26 P

I am a strong believer in weighing and measuring my foods. I never attempt to guess.

MARYJOANNA Posts: 3,747
6/7/14 7:10 A

I have the usual tips; use a 9" plate, measure your food. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

CJGODESS101 SparkPoints: (30,781)
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Posts: 611
6/6/14 3:25 P

For those who end up with leftovers, package your leftovers up while dishing up your meal. That way you wont be tempted to get seconds. I haven't taken a second helping since I started this, plus I don't worry about remembering to put the leftovers away.

AMBER0406 SparkPoints: (26,178)
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Posts: 134
6/6/14 3:17 P

weighing the meat is such a good idea. It can be hard to eyeball sometimes. I like the idea to fill in the blanks with veggies too!

LIZABET13 SparkPoints: (14,890)
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Posts: 478
6/6/14 9:11 A

Thanks for all the suggestions!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,617
6/6/14 8:57 A

weigh, measure, use smaller plates and when not full, fill in the blank with extra veggies.

SWAMPSPARROW SparkPoints: (4,092)
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6/6/14 1:20 A

The other posters have said most of it. I do save (recycle) all sorts of jars and containers. Although I cook for one, I don't always do what another poster said, which is cook one serving. Sometimes I might, but I frequently cook up a batch of something and freeze measured portions, for example one cup portions of things such as soups or beans. Sometimes I will freeze measured portions of a main dish in a small casserole that will go in the microwave or toaster oven. I also will buy fruits such as strawberries or canteloupe and freeze those in small one cup portions. I keep a jar of mixed nuts, and I just leave my 1/8 cup measure right in the jar! Sometimes I buy a bag of a snack food like white cheese popcorn, but I measure out equal portions and put them into baggies. The other day I weighed boneless chicken thighs before cooking (I always cut them in half to marinate better), then determined I would have four servings. When they were cooked, I moved the pieces around in the dish to make what looked like four equal looking servings. That's close enough, since I'll be the only one eating the portions, any slight calorie difference would even out over the week.

6/5/14 7:32 P

The only thing I can really think to add to this list of suggestions, is if you're cooking at home, cook just enough for that meal. I personally love to cook and have leftovers, but it makes it super tempting to go back for seconds, thirds..and even three helpings of a healthy meal isn't a grand idea ha! So I'd suggest cook just a portion of rice (if you're cooking for just yourself, or two if there's another obviously), the 3-4oz of protein, and load up on veggies. And start with a salad! Doll that up with lots of veggies too, and I love to cajun season and roast chickpeas and use them as 'croutons', they get a great crunch to them and really mimic quite well.

My one other suggestion would be to cut things up into smaller pieces, it'll appear as though you have more on your plate and it'll take longer to eat! This one works well for me :)

REDGIRL54 Posts: 255
6/5/14 6:49 P

Measure and weigh...weigh and measure. After some time, you may not have to measure everything but it is a good idea to measure and weigh every so often so that your portions don't grow inadvertently. emoticon

BEULAH45 Posts: 738
6/5/14 6:44 P

I think LAWLI56 pretty much said it all.
emoticon LAWLI56 !!

LAWLI56 Posts: 1,476
6/5/14 1:52 P

Get yourself a small set of scales, a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons and use them for everything.

Check on the pack that you are eating the right size portion.

Personally I use a side plate for dinner and practice mindful eating. ie Eat slowly, no TV, computer, etc when I'm eating and I try to sit at the table for meals. I find I eat far less and feel fuller sooner that way.

Edited by: LAWLI56 at: 6/5/2014 (13:53)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
6/5/14 10:32 A

Pretty much what everyone else says :)

Read labels to see what a portion really is (usually 15 potato chips, not half a bag).

Put a portion on a plate or bowl (do not eat out of the bag or box).

If you need to, grab a supply of zip lock baggies, and portion it out - say 8 crackers is a portion, put 8 in each baggie, and label each baggie with a sharpie (90 cals, 4 fat, 10 carb, 2 protein, 200 sodium), etc., for when you enter it into your tracker.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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Posts: 2,744
6/5/14 10:15 A

Unless it is something in single-serve packages, I *do not* eat out of the container. For example, ice cream gets put in a cup, a serving of cookies gets put on a plate, a serving of cereal gets put in a bowl, etc. Once upon a time I would bring a whole box of cereal to the couch to snack on while watching more!

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/5/14 10:08 A

I weigh and measure everything to make sure my portion size is accurate.

I don't like to see a tiny portion on a big plate, so I scale my plate sizes accordingly, for example:
- If i want ice cream for example, 1/2-cup is a portion. Put it in a cereal bowl and it looks just sad. Put it in a small ramekin and it looks just right!
- if my entree portion is small, i will fill the empty parts of the plate with a huge portion of something lower in calories, so that my overall "dinner" looks visually large.
- I "extend" higher-calorie items with the addition of lower-calorie ones, such as mixing lots of and lots and lots of vegetables into a pasta dish (the 3/4-cup of pasta looks a lot more substantial when mixed with 2 cups of sauteed veg), or mixing a ton of fruit into my yogurt (instead of having a little half-cup serving, i'll have a cup and a half, which feels like a full breakfast).

MARTHA324 SparkPoints: (166,325)
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Posts: 4,975
6/5/14 9:52 A

I pay attention to the portion listed on a container (if it's packaged) and I check out the calorie counts and then weigh and measure my food. Most days I know what I'm going to have for breakfast and lunch and snacks and look it all up and then enter it into my tracker.
Harder when I've made a soup or stew, but I eyeball it based on whether the recipe is for 2, 4 or 6 servings.

LIZABET13 SparkPoints: (14,890)
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6/5/14 9:46 A

I have a fairly good diet, but have always struggled with portion control. What are your tricks and tips?

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