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Featured Article by Tom Newman:
How To Keep Your Portion Sizes Under Control

Hi, it's Tom Newman…

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, portion sizes matter. Research shows that the bigger the portion in front of us, the more we'll eat, even if our bodies don't need the extra calories. Here are some tips for sensible portion sizing.

Tip 1:

Weigh your food

The simplest way to keep your portions in check is to weigh your food using a kitchen scale. Refer to nutrition labels to find the manufacturer's recommended serving size. For example, a serving of cereal is usually 30-45 grams depending on the brand. In time, you'll come to learn what a serving looks like, but for maximum accuracy, a scale is the best solution.

Tip 2:

Use visual comparisons when you don't have a food scale

Weighing your food when you're eating at a restaurant or at a friend's house isn't an option, but you can judge roughly how much you're eating by learning a few visual cues. For example:

— A half-cup serving of cooked vegetables is approximately the same size as a baseball
— One medium baked potato is approximately the size of your fist
— A serving of cooked pasta shapes is the amount you can fit into a cupped hand
— A serving of protein, such as cooked chicken breast, is the size of a deck of cards
— One serving of fruit is roughly the size of a tennis ball
— One serving of cheese is the size of a pair of dice
— One serving of fat, such as butter, is the size of your fingertip or a pair of dice<
— One half-cup serving of ice cream is the size of a tennis ball
tip 3:

Put leftovers away before you eat your meal

Do not leave leftovers within easy reach, for example, in the middle of the table. Instead, store them away before you sit down to eat. This can reduce the temptation to reach for second helpings.

tip 4:

Start your meal with two cups of water

Research shows that drinking two 8-ounce cups of water before you start eating can reduce significantly reduce the amount of food you need to eat to feel satisfied. Therefore, drinking water can make it easier to stick to smaller portions. But don't overdo it; most women need about 9 cups of fluid per day, and men need around 13. If you don't like plain water, try sparkling water as an alternative or add a couple of lemon slices for extra flavor.

tip 5:

Start your meal with two cups of water

Some people find that eating off smaller plates helps them eat less, simply because there's not enough room for big portions unless you pile your food high. Although we're all different and this trick is not guaranteed to work, it is definitely worth a try!

Keeping your portion sizes under control gets easier with practice, so why not give some of these tips a try the next time you sit down for a meal or snack?

To your awesome health,
John Sims

Daily Affirmation: I am in wonderment at the science of nutrition. Taking better care of myself leads to constant discovery and amazement at how well my body can work.

*This is not a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional. You should always consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant adjustment to a dietary, exercise, or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health concern.