If you tuned in to last week's newsletter you were probably quite surprised to find out how big our portions have become. It's not always easy to cut back on your portions, especially when you go out to eat and you're served enormous plates of food.
And research has shown that when we're served more, we eat more. For instance, when people were served a 12-inch sub sandwich instead of a 6-inch sub, women ate 31 percent more and men ate 56 percent more. When moviegoers ate popcorn, which they described as stale, out of a large container they ate 61 percent more than those served out of a small container.
So what is the best way to cut back on what we eat? A good suggestion is to know what a serving size looks like and portion out that amount before you sit down with your meal or snack. But if you're at a restaurant you don't always have that option. You might think about asking them to wrap up half of your food before you even begin.
When I'm eating at home I like to compare serving sizes to objects that I can relate to. Try using these as a guide:
Meat, poultry, or steak-like fish (tuna or salmon): 3 ounces = deck of cards or palm of your hand
* Fleshy white fish (flounder, sole, etc.): 3 ounces = checkbook
* Peanut butter: 2 tablespoons = walnut in the shell, 3 thumb tips
* Salad dressing: 2 tablespoons = shot glass
View more guidelines
If you're just starting to cut back on portion sizes another good idea is to eat off of salad plates, rather than dinner plates. And remember, when trying to change your behaviors, start small. The most successful improvements you can make to your health are ones that you can live with for the rest of your life.
Rachel Lukasavige is a Health Coach at Lukas Coaching. Visit www.lukascoaching.com/resources.htm for a ton of free tools to help you improve your health, finances, business, career & life!