Portion sizes can go a long way in helping reduce the amount of calories consumed. Here are tips to keep serving sizes in check.

Keep an eye out for reasonable portions

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Why do we overeat? We know it may not help us health-wise, and it certainly can lead to extra weight, especially in the mid-section. However, many of us eat beyond feeling satisfied or full.

British researchers have found that if we are served larger portions- well, we eat more. University of Cambridge researchers looked at food consumption data from 61 studies that involved 6,700 people.

Researchers found that if we can reign in the servings and portion sizes, daily calories could drop by approximately 25 percent with an average savings of 500 calories. That can make a difference in helping to lose weight or maintaining a healthy weight.

The results from this study showed that whether female or male, if you are served a heaping amount, you’ll probably eat most of it. If there is a large sweet drink served, most of it will be consumed.

Calorie-saving tips:

  1. When you order out, keep the servings smaller – don’t supersize, even if it is financially appealing. You can get as many as 400 extra calories by supersizing.
  2. At home, downsize the plates that you use – perhaps the lunch size versus those huge dinner plates.
  3. Since it is so easy to load up your plate if the serving bowls are right there on the table, keep just the vegetables and salads on the table for seconds – they have the fewest calories. Serve the higher calorie meat or starches such as potatoes and pasta just once from the stovetop.

A reminder about the health risk of obesity. There is an increased risk for:

  • • Heart disease
  • Pre-diabetes and diabetes
  • Cancer

Recipes to try to keep portion sizes in check:


About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.