Understanding portions and losing weight kinda goes hand in hand. It also forces you to read labels, use measuring tools, and buy only what you need (or can consume within a reasonable time).
The restaurants have drastically distorted portions in recent years, fooling us into thinking that things like a chicken fried steak should fill your entire plate. Often times you can get 2 portions of chicken out of a chicken breast these days depending on the size of the breast, and a 12 oz. steak really ought to feed 3 people.
Here are a few things Iâ€™ve done in the name of portion control.
- Buy multiple sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. Plastic sets are very inexpensive and thereâ€™s nothing more annoying than having to rinse out the same measuring cup over and over when measuring out multiple foods. Me? I have 3 sets of measuring cups (2 plastic and one stainless steel) and 2 sets of measuring spoons (1 plastic and one stainless steel). Use them diligently. The more you use them, the better youâ€™ll get at estimating portions.
- Buy a digital food scale. Seriously itâ€™s only $20, but it goes a LONG way. Get one that measures tare weight, which â€œzeroes outâ€ the container and only weighs whatâ€™s been placed in it. And if it weighs in multiple measurements like grams, ounces, pounds, etc., even better.
- Research food portions. WebMD has a great source on food portions. They even have a couple downloadable PDFs that you can print out and tape to your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet for easy reference.
- If you buy meats in bulk, immediately prep them for the freezer. Double-wrap individual Â pieces of meat in saran wrap and package them in large gallon freezer bags so you can take out and defrost only what you need.
I also learned to label things with a label maker, and set reminders when I needed to defrost meats so that they’ll be ready in time for a meal. Also when I portioned my food into “grab ‘n go” portions, it makes preparing lunches a lot easier.
Understanding reasonable portions can stretch your food even further and help you control your consumption at the same time, thus saving you money in the long run.