My life’s mission is to be able to make portion control and a balanced diet part of my everyday healthy life. With portion sizes going the super sized route – at the grocery store, at fast food and sit down restaurants – it’s easy to see how we’ve lost perspective in what a portion size actually looks and feels like. Below I hope to be able to shed some light on what’s helped me get a better handle on it all.
I don’t know how it was for you growing up, but I grew up being told to eat everything off my plate because we didn’t want to waste any food. And while that messed with my intuitive eating, it still wasn’t too bad as long as I was eating my Mom’s home cooking because she used the real stuff, vs. processed foods. When it got cray, cray was when processed foods outnumbered the real food in my life and the word diet entered my vocabulary.
Thankfully though things began turning around for me when I relearned what intuitive eating and clean eating were all about. Re-teaching myself how to listen to my fullness levels vs. waiting until after I cleaned plate to check in, did wonders. As did eliminating most processed foods in favor of clean eating (for the most part, not gonna lie chocolate & chips make their way in more often than not). But the true place I still struggle with is getting a balanced, well portioned meal on my plate every time.
As I shared with you in my How I Curb My Sweet Tooth post, eating the right portions in the right combinations helps bring me out of my sugar craze and into a more balanced state of being. My goal is to stay in this place all the time and in watching the 21-Day Fix informercial – with their Portion Control Container Kit – which comes out at all times of the day, I realized using pre-measured containers would be an easy way to measure out my meals to stay on track. Totally beats having to measure food via scales or with portion sizes measured by the palm of your hand or to the size of an inanimate object – like a deck of cards. Huh? I already know I have a skewed perception on portion sizes so I don’t need to keep guessing. I need to know what a correct portion size looks like and how to combine my healthy food choices accordingly. And while I know purchasing the kit would have made it easier, I knew I could probably do the same with stuff I already had around the house.
Enter the help of pre-measured containers and snack baggies. I totally love and rely on my Pyrex containers, but the smallest they go is 1 cup. And 1 cup is about how much a snack sized baggie holds, which is perfect for measuring out fruit and veggie portions.
When I need to measure something smaller than that, measuring cups and spoons work wonders.
I mainly use those to help me measure out my proteins, healthy carbs, fats and cheeses. It’s amazing how freeing it is once you know what you want your caloric intake to be and you map it via your containers because you don’t have to worry about calorie counting and measuring. You just know how many containers you have available to you in a day and each night you fill them up accordingly to keep on track. And the best part it’s not a diet, because I still get to fill them with the protein, carbs and cheeses I love, just in the right portion size, which has helped me get back on track with intuitive eating.
Remove processed foods, add in colorful plates, start clean eating and maintaining a balanced diet becomes that much easier.
Eventually I hope after doing it for some time, I won’t need the containers because I’ll have a handle on what a well balanced portioned meal really looks like; and I’ll never go back to believing that just because the packaging at the grocery store or the servings at the restaurants are bigger than I need, I need to eat it all. Regardless of my progress though I know hating my body, looks, etc. is so not where it’s at. Loving myself and allowing positivity to rule my world and my inner self talk is what will get me to a healthier place easier and that’s what it’s all about.
What has helped you in getting a handle on portion sizes?
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It’s all about portion control! I learned that the first time I went on a “diet”. I basically kept eating the same things, but I would always eat half of my plate. Then I slowly started cutting out sweets and unnecessary carbs. It’s a process, but I feel like it gets easier with time. I found that buying containers at HEB, Ross, etc. and they have a pretty good selection of portion control containers. you just have to look for them. Great post! And I am right here with you! =)
Thanks Anali and it is a process, but one that I finally feel like I’m doing well at. Glad to hear it’s worked for you too! Here’s to better health 😀
Portion control is HARD for me! I dont use any measuring device just my eyes. I struggle with this daily but I know it’s crucial to a balanced diet and I have to constantly remind myself. That’s why it can be so difficult and frustrating. I typically try to have just healthy foods on my plate so if I go overboard its not a big deal. That helps a lot.
It’s hard for everyone Liz, especially for the reasons I shared earlier, everything has just gotten bigger so it’s hard to tell what “normal.” But I agree with you, if you eat healthy/clean foods and listen to your hunger and fullness levels, you’re winning the battle. Here’s to our continued journey.
I love my measuring cups and kitchen scale for keeping my portions in check. When eating out, I always pack up half my meal. Saves me money and calories! Thanks for the great ideas.
You go Monica, kitchen scale and everything!! I’m all about getting a handle on this and making it easy, so happy you’ve found something that works for you. Here’s to normal portion sizes in our future 😀
These are great tips Rocio!
I must admit that we, latinos, associate food with happiness and the more the merrier right?
I’ve never really taken the time to measure my food but just about enough so that I don’t have to go back for second helpings 🙂
Whenever we eat at someone’s house they do offer you some more and it’s kind of hard to say no but we should right?
I need to start cutting back on sugar which is my weakness and also comida frita, which again thrives in our kitchen.
I will start measuring little by little, por algún lugar se comienza no? 🙂
Thank you for sharing your strategy!
Claro que si Karla and it’s really about everything in moderation, I just struggle with what moderation looks like, but getting there. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great week!
Great tips, I will definitely start incorporating more portion control into my eating habits. Thank you.
That’s awesome Claudya! Glad you stopped by, have a great week!
Yes….portion control is everything. I’m trying to remind myself of that!
You and me both Monique. Here’s to us getting a handle on it soon ☺
Using colorful plates is a great way to control portions. I also try to use medium size plates and glasses, so I feel like I’m eating a lot but I’m actually eating less than I used to. Great tips!
Gracias Elba. Yes colorful small plates help me a lot, love them 😀