As you know, one of the keys to this year's celebration of National Nutrition Month from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is "Go Further With Food." Now is a great time to think about being mindful with your food and how much you are eating.
My team and I have spent years working on various portion control tips and tricks for your audience, and, as Nutrition Month comes to a close, I'd like to share a roundup of the best of them.
Tip #1: Pre-Portion Your Food
You'd be shocked at how much more you eat when you eat straight out of the bag or box instead of measuring out your portions before you snack. So, instead of bringing that box of crackers or bag of chips with you to the TV for a snack, put a single serving on a plate and bring that instead.
Plus, this tip works well when it comes to freezing food. When you have leftovers, freeze them in individual portions. Not only is this more convenient, but it’s also a way to control your portions without having to make a fresh decision every time.
Pre-measuring your snacks and portioning them in individual baggies so that you can simply "grab and go" for treats on the run is a great idea too!
Tip #2: Be Mindful
Being mindful while you’re eating and when determining whether to eat will help you heed your body's cues about satiety. Learn the difference between hunger and boredom or worry and remember to only eat when you’re hungry. Once you've got this under your belt, it'll be a lot easier to avoid snacking mindlessly or overeating.
Tip #3: Think About Your Drink
People often overlook drinks when it comes to successfully managing portions. If you want to have a beverage with added sugars, be sure to measure a single serving into a glass for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how big your drink really is! You can also order water or diet soda/unsweetened tea and skip the added calories entirely.
And there you have it -- three of the best portion control tips that my team and I have explored over the years. I hope these will be helpful for you and your clients.
Oh, and have you seen this free portion control handout we made featuring MyPlate? It's perfect for this month's theme!
Plus, there's always more in the Nutrition Education Store!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.