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Losing Weight and Portion Control

Like many people, you may have a love-hate relationship with your scale. When your weight goes up, you may feel down. When your weight goes down, you may feel up.

Eating right and staying active may help make managing your weight just a little easier. Here are some tips, tools, and techniques to help get you started.

Eating Right and Staying Active May Help Make Managing Your Weight a Little Easier
Eating Right and Staying Active May Help Make Managing Your Weight a Little Easier

Portion control 101

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult when you have helpful tools on hand. Check out our “right-size it” tips and The Plate Method below. Both give you simple ways to learn how to size up your portions visually.

Right-size it

Eating out? When placing your order, avoid super-sizing. Opt for right-sizing instead. Many fast-food restaurants have nutrition information on their menus. Use it to make smarter choices. Only want half a portion? Split an item with a friend or save half for another meal. Here’s a fun way to visualize proper portion sizes using everyday objects:

  • 1 ping-pong ball equals 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 deck of cards equals 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
  • 4 dice equal 1.5 ounces of cheese
  • 1/2 a baseball equals 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potatoes

Got a minute for The Plate Method?

It could help you change the amount of food on your plate without measuring. Once you know what a serving size looks like, then you can start learning about making healthier food choices. Check out the slideshow below to get started.

  • Draw an Imaginary Line Through the Middle of a Standard Dinner Plate

    Draw an imaginary line through the middle of a standard dinner plate.

  • Draw Another Imaginary Line Down the Middle of One of the Halves

    Draw another imaginary line down the middle of one of the halves.

  • Fill the Largest Section With Non-Starchy Vegetables

    Fill the largest section with nonstarchy vegetables.

  • Fill One of the Smaller Sections With Whole Grains Like Pasta or Brown Rice

    Fill one of the smaller sections with whole grains, like pasta or brown rice.

  • Fill the Last Section With a Healthy Piece of Lean Meat, Poultry, or Fish

    Fill the last section with a healthy piece of lean meat, poultry, or fish.

  • Pour an 8-Ounce Glass of Nonfat or Low Fat Milk, or Water

    Pour an 8-ounce glass of nonfat or low-fat milk. Water’s a good choice, too.

    If you don’t drink milk, you can add another small serving of carbohydrates, such as a 6-ounce container of light yogurt or a small roll.

  • Add a Piece of Fruit or Half Cup of Fruit Salad

    Add a piece of fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit salad.

  • Eating Meals Using the Plate Method May Help With Portion Control

    Enjoy. And don’t forget, eating meals using The Plate Method can help you with portion control.