5 surprising ways to cut portion sizes

You really can have all your favourite foods and still lose weight. The secret is to simply eat less. Here’s how

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measuring cups

1. Serve with a measuring cup

According to Canada’s Food Guide, one serving of white pasta is just half a cup. Instead of estimating what that looks like on your plate, take the guesswork out of portion sizes by using a measuring cup to ration the number of servings you need for that meal.

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2. Top up your cereal with bran

Can’t start your day without a heaping bowl of your favourite cereal? Cut the calories and increase the fibre by filling half the bowl with a serving of bran cereal. For example, reduce your usual serving of Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin by half a cup and replace it with half a cup of All-Bran cereal to boost your fibre serving by 10 g and eliminate 25 calories.

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mashed potatoes

3. Mix up your favourite side dishes

Got a hankering for some good-old-fashioned mashed potatoes? A recipe made with whole milk and butter contains 237 calories and 9 g of fat per cup. Satisfy your craving by mixing half a cup of mashed potatoes with the mashed-up flesh of a small baked sweet potato-you’ll save more than 62 calories and almost 5 g of fat. Plus, the sweet potato adds disease-fighting beta-carotene to your dish.

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apple juice

4. Just add water

Drinking fruit juice is an easy way to chug down calories, says Toronto-based dietitian Zanat Reza. When a serving of Tropicana Pure Apple Juice (355 mL) contains 41 g of sugar, it’s easy to see why some nutritionists suggest kicking your juice habit altogether. But if you’re hooked on the fruity taste, cut down your serving by mixing half that amount of apple juice with an equal amount of water-and say goodbye to 85 calories.

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food on plate

5. Divide and conquer

Instead of placing serving bowls of food in the middle of the family dinner table, measure out individual portions in the kitchen. That way you’re less likely to be influenced by your family members’ portions (an active thirty-something male needs 650 more calories than his female counterpart) and you won’t be as tempted to take a second helping after you’ve finished what’s on your plate.

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