Avoid portion distortion!  Research shows that most Americans underestimate how many calories they eat each day by as much as 25 percent. For most people, one serving size is much smaller than they realize. Learning how to eyeball proper portion sizes is an effective strategy for weight loss and maintenance.

Portion Sizes


·     Serve food on individual plates instead of putting the serving dishes on the table as a way to avoid second and third helpings. Also try using smaller plates, bowls and glasses.

·     When dining out, ask for a “to go” box and place half of it in the box as soon as the meal arrives. Or try sharing entrees.

·     When eating or snacking in front of the television, measure out your food and place it in a bowl instead of snacking straight from the bag.

·     Buy foods that are already pre-packaged into individual serving sizes. Or if you do buy the larger package, use smaller baggies to divide up the food into individual servings. Try not to snack directly from the larger bag.

·     Replace the candy dish with a fruit bowl. Also store tempting foods such as cookies, ice cream and chips out of immediate eyesight, such as on a high shelf or in the back of the freezer.

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion