5 Useful Ways to Control Portion Sizes

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Portion control, whether you have diabetes or not, is very important and is often the root of many problems including diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.

The USDA has dietary guidelines which help people stay within recommended guidelines for portion sizes, called MyPlate.

MyPlate offers customized portion sizes depending on how many calories you eat per day. The plan encourages people to make half their plate fruits and vegetables and reminds them to vary their veggies and focus on whole fruits.

It also recommends half of the grains you consume to be whole grains and moving to low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. You can find your healthy eating style with MyPlate here.

Here are five other useful and easy ways to maintain good portion control:

Dinner plates


1. Use Small Plates and Bowls

Updating your dessert service-ware may be a small change, but it may go a long way. If you can stick to the amount you have placed in your bowl, and get accustomed to small serving sizes instead of a large banana split sundae, you will be on the right path for portion control. Another good trick is to use salad plates for your dinner plates. Fill it up according to the MyPlate guidelines that are right for you: Half your plate should be filled with vegetables or salad, one-quarter with whole grains, and one-quarter with protein. This is a great way to monitor portion sizes and trick your eye into thinking you’re eating more because the plate will look fuller.


2. Get a Food Scale

Investing in a food scale is a great way to measure exactly what goes into your mouth. It’s interesting to see how much something actually weighs before eating it. You will be surprised with your portion sizes once you start measuring them. Weighing and measuring your food will help you control your portion sizes to an exact science. Once you are aware of how much you are eating, you will automatically eat least.


3. Use a Food Log

Using a food log, such as MyFitnessPal is a great way to be conscious of the amount of food you eat. You can also keep track in a food journal, and also keep track of recipes and notes. Keeping a log of your food intake will not only help keep your portion sizes under control, but it will also help you see how foods affect your blood glucose if you measure before eating and two hours after. That information will tell you how a lot about your portion sizes as well.

Nutrition label

4. Read the Nutrition Label and Serving Size

Reading the nutrition labels is an important step in the road to controlling portion size. Be sure to look at the calorie count, as well as the serving size. Many foods (and drinks) contain more servings than you think. And packaged food can be deceiving: Something that looks small might actually be two servings, which means you will have to double the number of calories. The labels, however, can be a good tool to measure the amount of sugar and carbohydrate you are consuming.


5. Avoid Buffets

Buffets are dangerous for anyone, whether they have diabetes or not. It’s better to order your own meal because it will control what you are eating as well as the portion size. If you have no choice but to eat from a buffet, fill up your plate with low-calorie, low-carb foods. Try not to go back for seconds, although it is quite tempting!