4 Ways to Learn Portion Control

The first step to weight loss: portion control.

Making a few small changes to your eating style can help you understand portion control, which will help you consume fewer calories and lose weight.

1. Switch to 10-inch plates

You can reduce calorie consumption by about 20 percent and lose nearly 2 pounds per month by switching from 12- to 10-inch plates. In a study conducted at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, diners choosing bigger plates took 52 percent more food and ate 45 percent more of it than those using smaller plates.

2. Shift to 6-inch bowls

Same logic. Teenagers studied at a camp cafeteria consumed 16 percent more cereal when given a bigger bowl.

3. Use smaller spoons

Ice cream is one of the foods dieters miss most. But you don’t have to give it up in order to lose weight. Study participants given 2-ounce spoons ate 14.5 percent less ice cream than those handed 3-ounce spoons.When a smaller spoon was combined with a smaller bowl, people at 57 percent less ice cream overall. This strategy holds true for soups, chili, and stews as well.

4. Wield a smaller knife.

Can’t resist cream cheese on your bagel or butter on your bread? Use a smaller, hors d’oeuvres knife to spread it. You’ll tend to use less.

Plus: The Worst Foods You Can Eat

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest