8 ways to reduce your portions

Increasing portion sizes are taking much of the blame for increasing waistlines. Find out how to make sure your portions stay real

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An easy way to cut calories

It’s a simple fact: Eat less and you’ll lose weight. There’s good evidence that over the past 50 years, restaurant portions have “super-sized,” and our waistlines have grown along with them. We’ve become accustomed to eating larger servings to the detriment of our health. Here are eight simple ways to shrink portion size.

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salad tongs

1. Wait 10 minutes

Your stomach needs about that long to signal to the brain that it’s full, so wait before helping yourself to more mashed potatoes or lasagna. If you’re still truly hungry, have a second helping of vege­tables or salad.

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empty plate

2. Leave the “clean plate” club

Most of us eat everything we’re served, no matter how big the portion. A better strategy is to eat a healthy amount, then stop. After all, it’s better to waste a little food than to overload your body.

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chinese food

3. Never eat straight from a bag, box or carton

If you’re eating takeout food, transfer the right portion onto a plate and put the package away, then sit down and take time to enjoy your meal.

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bowl of soup

4. Like big? Then go for the healthy stuff

Overload your plate with vege­tables and salad, or have a big bowl of stock-based soup. These water-rich, low-fat foods are low in calories, so a big portion isn’t a problem.

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small plate

5. Think small

Use a smaller plate for your meals. Less space on the plate means automatic portion control. And when ordering or buying food, choose the smallest size of any high-calorie items.

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6. Put away leftovers before eating

That way, having a second helping will take a conscious effort.

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ice cream sandwich

7. Choose single serve

Buy or make high-calorie foods in individual-serving sizes. Instead of family-size tubs of ice cream, buy single-serve containers; make cupcakes instead of a large cake.

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fruit plate

8. End with fruit

As you consume more modest portions, you may start craving extra food. Add volume with an apple, an orange or a big helping of watermelon at the end of your meal.

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