15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

Avatar By Elise Phillips Margulis | 8 June 2020 338 views
portion control

How To Eat Less & Lose Weight Without Depriving Yourself

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Portion control is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. 

You can pretty much eat whatever you want if you consume only a small amount—especially of the fattening stuff.

Yet, portion control is a little tricky. You’re hungry… you haven’t eaten in a while… and the food you’re about to eat looks so delicious!

How do you take a moderate amount when you want to eat it all?

Here are 15 simple ways to decrease portions without feeling deprived.

15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

1) Drink Water Before Meals & Snacks

Thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger, and hydration is very important. If you find regular H2O boring, try flavored water or seltzer. 

You can also flavor your water with veggies and fruit. Virtually no calories! 

Water fills up your belly so you won’t pile lots of food on your plate.

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2) Eat From Small Plates

This little optical illusion really works. If you grab a big plate, you’ll be tempted to spoon a heaping portion onto it. A smaller plate is conducive to eating less.

If you’re still hungry after one serving, you can have more… but you probably won’t be.

Small portions also look tiny on a large plate, so you might think it’s not enough for a meal and keep taking more.

3) Wait 20 Minutes

You know that awful stuffed feeling you get after indulging in just a bit too much?! If you wait 20 minutes to determine if you’re really still hungry, you’ll likely find that you’re not. 

Your stomach doesn’t signal your brain that it’s full until 20 minutes after it is. If you eat too much… that delay results in an uncomfortable feeling like you swallowed a bowling ball and wishing that you had stopped eating 5 minutes sooner.

15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

4) Fill Up On Low-Calorie Healthy Foods 

Starting a meal with a salad (without fattening dressing—watch the sugar and fat content)… or eating veggies first… will fill you up before you start eating items in the more caloric food groups. 

5) Sit & Savor

It’s tempting to eat at the kitchen counter, at your desk, or while watching television. However, you should be conscious of every bite you take for many reasons. 

First of all, eating is self-care and you should focus on yourself. Second, you need to fully enjoy each morsel of everything you eat!

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If you’re like I am, you’d like to eat A LOT and all day long. Food is fabulous, but you have to eat nutritiously and limit your intake to be healthy and fit. 

Therefore, each item you consume deserves your full attention so you can truly appreciate the taste, texture, smell, and even its appearance. You’ll feel more satisfied by meals and snacks if you eat mindfully and slowly.

6) Use Small Silverware

Believe it or not, using a smaller spoon or fork slows down your eating. Slowing down your intake helps digestion, so you’ll realize sooner that you’re full.

15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

7) Use Your Plate to Determine Portions

Your plate should contain half veggies, one quarter complex carbs (like lentils, barley, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato), and one quarter protein.

You can also have a half tablespoon of fat in the form of butter, avocado, nuts, seeds, or olive oil. You’re welcome.

8) Limit Dessert

A little dessert each day is fine if you’re eating moderate meals and small snacks.

Three squares of dark chocolate, one scoop of ice cream, a small slice of cake, and so on. 

9) Read Nutrition Labels

Always check what the serving size. Some packaged foods look like one serving and their nutritional information indicates you’re supposed to eat half or a third. Cruel trick.

15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

10) Eat Half of Restaurant Servings

Remember going to restaurants? Someday, when you are at a restaurant again (or maybe if you have food delivered), be very conscious of the amount they give you. 

Restaurants can be way too generous with portions and that’s dangerous!

If your serving looks big, save half for later (if it’s lunch) or tomorrow. Other options include ordering an appetizer in lieu of a meal or choosing something from the kids’ menu.

If you want to take home part of your meal… you might even box the food that you’re taking home in the beginning of the meal so you’re not tempted to finish it.

It’s so hard to resist really good food that’s sitting right in front of you, especially for a long time!

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Eating heaping restaurant servings in one sitting may lead to avoidable, uncomfortable fullness and overwhelming guilt (amiright?!). 

Also, share an appetizer rather than order your own. You don’t have to miss out on anything—just eat less of it. You can count the appetizer as part of your meal and get a salad or something not too caloric to have with it.

11) Never Eat from a Container or Bag of Food

Eating ice cream from its container… snacking on potato chips with the bag in your lap… or keeping a package of Oreos next to you as you devour one every 5 seconds are all fun fantasy scenarios… but not good ideas in reality.

Take one serving and step away from the temptation! It’s the only safe way to snack.

Once in a while, it’s okay to eat more than a small portion, but you’ll feel so much better if you limit your serving most of the time.  

12) Don’t Eat Directly from Restaurant Take-Out/Leftover Containers

They cram a lot of food into Chinese food take-out packages. Other restaurant containers may also be deceptively full. 

Don’t eat from take out/leftover containers. Place the food on a plate so you can see exactly how much there is.

15 Tricks To Eat Less (But FEEL Like You’re Eating More)

13) Use Portion Control Containers

Speaking of containers, portion control containers make it easy to eat the right amount of foods. They are color coded and come in different sizes. 

Whether you use them to bring food to work or keep them in your fridge or pantry so you can grab and go, you’ll always eat the right portion.

14) Avoid Supersized Foods

In addition to gigantic restaurant portions, certain foods are just oversized. Some muffins and bagels, for instance, are practically two servings. 

Keep in mind that many Americans indulge too much… and bigger isn’t better when it comes to eating! Save some for later or throw a piece out if you have to.

It’s better not to waste food, but it’s best not to overeat.

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The USDA Portions

If you’re wondering what a portion should look like… here are the portions recommended by the USDA.

Suggested daily servings include:

  • Fruits – 2 cups
  • Vegetables – 2 ½ cups
  • Grains –  6 ounces
  • Protein – 5 1/2 ounces
  • Dairy – 3 cups

Healthline.com has devised a hand system that makes it simple to measure how much food is an official serving. 

Proteins:

The size of your palm (two palms for men) is a protein serving to eat during a meal. 

Veggies/salad:

One fist size for women and two for men.

Carbs:

One cupped hand for women and two for men. This is for whole grains and starchy vegetables.

Fat:

The size of a woman’s thumb or two thumbs for men. Fats include oil, butter, et cetera.

It’s a little unfair that women can only eat half of what men eat, but exercise increases your metabolism so work out 20 minutes a day and you can eat a bit more. 

A nice walk helps your metabolism get revved up if you don’t want to jog till you drop. 

Knowing you can eat more is a great motivation to get moving! 

Moderate portions of healthy food plus exercise equal a healthy and slender you!

15) Control Your Cravings (Don’t Let Them Control You!)

I like this tip since it seems to work really well for the folks who try it. 🙂

If you’re anything like me, then sometimes you just get a hankering for a particular type of food.

And it’s often these cravings that really sabotage your weight loss.

I’ll eat a few chocolates, and then think, “Well, there goes my diet—may as well turn this into a cheat day…”

And then I’ll proceed to hammer down 8 more chocolates… half a bag of chips… a sandwich… and most of a block of cheese like I’m The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

That “innocent” craving for a few sweet chocolates… turns into a 3,000 calorie nightmare really quickly!

Until recently, doctors and dieticians had one solution to fight cravings:

Willpower.

Uh-huh. Like if I’m at the office or at a party, and someone brings donuts or a cake, I’m just going to be able to grit my teeth and never give in? 

Please…

How easy is it to just eat the color green for weeks on end when your entire body’s chemistry is screaming for your favorite breads and sweets? 

It’s not your fault. You’re actually wired to crave junk food… when you have the wrong bacteria in your gut.

Fortunately, you can bring back the right bacteria… and then, your body will stop working against you. (And, it gets even better…)

Like this combination of 5 “super strains” of probiotics that work directly in your gut to reduce cravings.

That’s because it helps your gut digest the food you eat into energy… and that tells your brain, “Hey, I’ve got plenty to work with here! No need to eat more food!”

It short-circuits cravings before they start… and keeps you from that slippery slope of binges that I so often succumb to.

Even better, this powerhouse combination actively helps you burn fat and reduce bloating… so not only are you not being sabotaged by cravings, but you’re also burning fat faster

The science behind it is fascinating! Check out this leading TV doctor’s recent webisode about how these 5 “super strains” of probiotics can take away your cravings… click the link below now:

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