Nutrition Articles

9 Simple Tricks to Eat Less

Cut Calories, Not Satisfaction

7.4KSHARES
Page 2 of 4
Your mother was right about some things: Your eyes really can be bigger than your stomach. Research has shown that when people use large bowls, plates and serving utensils, they serve themselves more and consume more food. In a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 85 nutrition professionals were asked to serve themselves a bowl of ice cream. Researchers provided a variety of bowl and spoon sizes. Subjects with larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream; when they used a large spoon, they dished 14.5% more into their bowls. Although the super-sized plates may look slick, put those away for special occasions. When you see a large canvas, you want to fill it! ACTION TIP: Eat from smaller salad plates and small bowls for daily use. Without even realizing it, you'll serve and eat less. If your dinnerware is oversized, it might be time for new dishes that won't dwarf your properly portioned meals.

3. Pre-portion your foods.
How often do you eat straight from the bag of crackers or chips? How is it possible to track your food or know how much you eat without measuring it? That's just one reason you should never eat directly from a box or bag that contains multiple servings of a food. Grab your measuring cups and a small bowl (see #2 above) to keep your calories in check. Why? Because it's easy to overeat when you're reaching into a bottomless bag of food. ACTION TIP: Instead of reaching into the chip bag or a big bowl of chips at a party, pre-portion your snacks into a smaller container (or plate) so you know exactly how much you're eating. Then, put the big bag away (or walk away from the chip bowl). You are much less likely to overeat enjoy the smaller portion you served yourself. So dish it up, put the rest away, and taste every bite (see #1 above).

4. Know your pitfalls.
We all have food weaknesses. That food that you can't resist. The food you can't stop eating once you started. The food you have trouble saying no to, even if you're not hungry. The food you think about even when it's not in the vicinity. Maybe you'll never shake the grip this food has you on, but the first step is recognizing it. Take a minute to think about your food weaknesses. Once you know what they are, you can take extra measures to prevent overeating these particular foods, whether you avoid repeated exposure to this food or plan the rest of your day's intake planning to enjoy a bit of this favorite food. ACTION TIP: Make a list of your food weaknesses and the places you encounter them. Come up with solutions to avoid those encounters, like not venturing down the snack food aisle in the grocery store or choosing a different route to bypass the co-worker who always offers free doughnuts. Stick with your plan of avoidance until you build up the strength to face that food without giving up your control.
Continued ›
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 4   Next Page ›
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
7.4KSHARES

About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

Member Comments

  • Having a large selection of containers and plastic bags helps, along with a digital scale, especially if you're the only human in the house. (People who live with other people don't have the same problems since food can be eaten up by the others right after preparation, although if they need to eat differently then my approach can help.)

    The cups from Mott's natural applesauce are perfect for reuse. They have straight sides so they are easy to clean. I can spoon ice cream loosely into them and get the portion size I really do best with, about half the indicated serving size. Just put the container on the scale, tare, and stop adding when I reach the grams I actually want to eat. They're great for other things as well, such as various types of chips or nuts or seeds or dried fruit or cereal. I also have some ceramic bowls with about the same capacity, but can't beat the price on the recycled applesauce containers... Having small containers makes it easier to learn how to eyeball your servings of such things also when you don't feel like weighing.

    Sometimes I'll actually preportion ice cream into 2oz freezer containers sold for baby food. But I don't need to do that with nondairy ice cream (thank you Ben & Jerry for now making it!) because without the allergenic dairy trigger, I am not stimulated to go overboard on it. So what you need to preportion also depends on your particular eating habits.

    I use cheapie sandwich bags to portion out cookies, parts of bars or donuts or pies etc. , candy, popcorn-type snacks etc. before I eat any. Most of it goes into the freezer, those that don't are kept fresher that way, reducing the feeling of "gotta eat it before it goes stale". For example, 1/2 or 1/3 of a serving might make more sense for me so I just fill the bags accordingly and twist and knot the bag to seal. Then when I do want something, I just grab the small bag. Huge cookies or similar things in individual packages get broken into pieces in the package and put in the freezer before opening and might be repackaged when I go to eat t... - 6/12/2016 4:02:15 PM
  • @RWOMMACK Lol, you made my day with that time zone thing :) This verified forskolin you have mentioned really helped me. i lost like 35 pounds in three month and 100000 pounds to go, lol.
    Speaking about garcinia, donít even spend your money on that. I tried it 2 years go with literally 0 results
    - 5/10/2016 7:34:07 PM
  • RWOMMACK
    I've been size 10 all my life without even trying a lot. Recently I hit my 40th birthday. And now i can see that iím starting to gain weight. Soon i will need my personal time zone. My metabolism is getting slower i guess. i hate working out so decided to give weight loss supplements a shot. But there are so manyÖ. My friend which is a dietitian said that www.verified-fors
    kolin.com is the best since it's verified by a lot of studies. Maybe somebody tried it? Or should i try garcinia? - 5/10/2016 6:43:20 PM
  • Am guilty of eating too much, sometimes because I do not want to waste the food or something, but i really enjoyed reading this article. I will make some changes henceforth. - 2/1/2016 5:48:20 PM
  • TORBITCHARISSE
    I eat backwards, working nights I eat at night, and sleep during the day. I work out just 20 minutes when home, but do mall walking at work. 6 times around is a mile, and walk at school 3 times a week with a book bag. I also drink a lot of fluids. I don't seem as hungry. - 9/1/2015 9:43:00 PM
  • I think portion sizes are really important. I ask my sons all the time what the portion size is when they offer me a cookie or piece of candy. Anymore they just tell me what the portion size is and ask if I want the treat. I hope they carry this on to adulthood and not battle weight like I have over the years. - 8/24/2015 11:38:58 AM
  • MICHAELLEARNS
    Hi Sarah. Thanks for sharing this great article. Eating on a smaller plate is the one that works for me, and eating my breakfast allows me not to take other small meals in between...hehehe. I hope your readers will benefit from this too. http://bit.ly/hea
    lthy_diet
    - 7/30/2015 7:33:45 AM
  • MOBYMOBY
    The pitfall list is great idea. I would add certain moments during routine day that trigger hunger/eating. My pitfall moments are procrastinating a task and coming in the door. "A well-defined problem is half-solved."
    - 4/1/2015 6:12:30 AM
  • Great tips here, thanks! The article could use a little proofreading, I spotted an error. It was two sentences mashed together, and that didn't make sense. But other than that, great! These are the top tips that nutritionists and fitness trainers give their clients! - 3/31/2015 8:41:40 PM
  • I have been utilizing 100-calorie protein shakes. I sip on one in the afternoon, and it keeps me from snacking.
    I know some people avoid anything processes, including shakes and bars, but my doc told me to keep my caloric intake below 1100 and these shakes have been helpful. - 3/31/2015 11:48:24 AM
  • DISNEY_QUEEN
    When I was losing my 40 lbs two years ago, I followed most of these tips, but my best tool was water. I drank 8-16 oz glasses of water a day. I made sure I drank on before every meal, then I was less likely to load up my plate. Also many times when you think you are hungry, you are just thirsty, so every time I felt a hunger pang, I drank another glass of water. It works!
    Of course it goes without saying that you must exercise along with adjusting your diet. - 2/13/2015 8:44:51 AM
  • How ingenious - and CUTE !

    Bravo for another GREAT article - 1/24/2015 9:36:09 PM
  • AMYBELANGE
    This is a really good article. I learned a lot of these tips when l began my final weight-loss journey. One thing that was important was to know my pitfalls, and to work with my strengths and weaknesses. I know that I love eating until I am "full," so I did the following:
    1. Eat healthy nutritious options first: broccoli, cooked cabbage, etc, became my "go to" foods prior to enjoying my regular foods. These made me full in a healthy way.
    2. Food journal! This helps me see where my calories are going during each day.
    3. Working with weaknesses: I love sweets, so I substituted my sweet treats for low-calorie sugar free options. (Be careful here, because sugar-free doesn't mean low-calorie). This takes a bit of work, but I enjoy a lot of things that I did before, just differently.
    4. Plan and pack foods! This is one of the most helpful items. I store non-perishable foods in my car so that I have a "go to" when I am hungry instead of not planning what I eat. - 12/29/2014 8:46:18 PM
  • UTAHLADY
    I appreciate all this information. I've been trying to find a site that provides sensible, proven info regarding health. I am going to try to dig into the prepared menus and prepare ahead as much as possible. - 9/24/2014 12:37:28 PM
  • SOLPHEM1
    Lots of good ideas. Starting to try to lose after quite of not being careful for quite a while and finding so many things to do with Spark People a bit overwhelming. Doing my best to get back into the swing of it all. - 9/18/2014 12:53:32 PM

x Lose 10 Pounds by August 7! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.