Manage Your Potential with Portion Sizes

Giant Four Patty Hamburger

Portion sizes at the average restaurant have long been out of control in the US.  Steakhouses, sports bars, and BBQ joints are especially guilty of this, making portions as much as 5 times the recommended serving for an entree.  Adding an appetizer, salad, or dessert to the plate can make the average restaurant dinner enough food for a family of 4 in short order.  One way of keeping portions under control when trying to lose weight is to split a plate. 

Some people are just not that good at sharing.  However, splitting a plate in half doesn't change what each person is eating, which can really help that sense of being denied a favorite dish.  It actually cuts the calories in half automatically.  Studies have shown that complete self-denial of favorite foods does not work in the long term, that this type of practice causes people to fail in their diet plans in the long term.  Portion control instead of completely abstaining from a food, allows the taste, the enjoyment of the food without going overboard on it. 

Other methods of portion control involve packaging.  If a bag of potato chips becomes an irresistible lure, buying a single-serving bag, and not a family sized one, keeps a potato chip junkie from consuming a week's carbohydrates, fat, and salt in a single setting.  Single serving packages can also help control mindless eating, such as the nibbles that go on while watching television. 

Natural packaging can also help.  Buying nuts in the shell, whether it be pistachio, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or even peanuts, can slow down the process.  Even though nuts are a wonderful snack, they do pack a decent amount of calories, and a large dose of salt, and so choosing nuts in the shell, unsalted being better yet, can help control overdoing it.


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