Portion control is everything. It’s the secret to staying healthy!
Yet, eating less doesn’t mean you need to go hungry. Specific foods and habits will help you feel satisfied. At the same time, you’ll enhance the quality of your meals.
Check out these seven techniques. With this guide, you can eat less and feel full.
1. Drink Water Before Eating
We all know that hydration is important. Of course, water is the best choice. But did you know it can control portions, too?
Before a meal, fuel up on water. You’ll feel full and therefore, eat less.1 This is a great tactic when you’re at a restaurant or event.
Additionally, it beats drinking sodas or fruit juices. These beverages will just add sugar, calories, and preservatives to your diet. If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, infuse it with fruit or herbs.
2. Eat An Appetizer
Start with an appetizer. It’ll curb your hunger, making you eat less.
Don’t choose just any appetizer, though. Go for a salad with low-energy ingredients like fiber-rich veggies. High-energy ingredients, like cheese and creamy dressing, will actually have the opposite effect. 2
You can also make a low-energy soup. Opt for vegetables, low-sodium broth, and herbs. To increase satiety even more, make a soup on the chunkier side.3 A simple blender is all you need.
3. Add More Protein
Focus on protein. Compared to carbohydrates and fat, it does a better job at keeping you full. This means you’ll feel satisfied with less food.
You’ll also avoid overeating later on. In turn, your energy intake will decrease. It’s a great way to keep your weight in check.4
Healthy protein sources include lean meat like skinless chicken or turkey. Fish, shellfish, beans, nuts, tofu, low-fat dairy, eggs, and even whole grains are also great sources.5
4. Add More Fiber
Like protein, fiber promotes satiety. It can even reduce ghrelin – the hunger hormone. No wonder fiber is respected for its ability to control weight.
At the same time, this nutrient relieves constipation, making it useful for digestive problems. It’ll even lower diabetes risk by managing blood glucose.6
5. Use Hot Peppers
Spice things up with hot peppers. They contain capsaicin – a compound that decreases hunger and boosts fullness. It can even burn calories – not just your tongue.
Because of these benefits, capsaicin may have a role in obesity management. Researchers also think it can improve sleep and relieve pain, too.9
Obviously, spicy food isn’t for everyone. Not a fan? Add just enough for some flavor. To balance it out, drink non-dairy milk or eat nut butter.
6. Use Smaller Plates
Choosing food is just half the battle. To eat less, use small plates. Really!
According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, size matters. The larger the plate, the more you’ll eat – about 45 percent, to be exact. It’s all about those mind games.
Plus, roughly 135 percent more food is wasted with large plates.10 Think of how many lunches you could pack.
Invest in small plates and bowls. Even smaller serving spoons can do the trick.11 Sure, it might cost money, but your health is worth it.
7. Pay Attention
We live in a world of distractions. There are always e-mails to check and shows to watch. However, the tips on this list won’t matter if you’re easily distracted.
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the more attentive you are, the less you’ll eat. The same is true the other way around. In fact, it’s one of the biggest concepts of weight loss and maintenance.12
Put away your phone. Turn off the television. Be present in the meal and enjoy your company. It’ll do wonders for your waistline.
Adopting these habits will take time. Start with one, then try the next. Don’t be afraid to adjust each tip in a way that works for you.
|↑1||Davy, Brenda M., Elizabeth A. Dennis, A. Laura Dengo, Kelly L. Wilson, and Kevin P. Davy. “Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 108, no. 7 (2008): 1236-1239.|
|↑2||Rolls, Barbara J., Liane S. Roe, and Jennifer S. Meengs. “Salad and satiety: energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 104, no. 10 (2004): 1570-1576.|
|↑3||Flood, Julie E., and Barbara J. Rolls. “Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake.” Appetite 49, no. 3 (2007): 626-634.|
|↑4||Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.|
|↑5||Protein in diet. MedlinePlus.|
|↑6||Vuksan, V., A. L. Jenkins, C. Brissette, L. Choleva, E. Jovanovski, A. L. Gibbs, R. P. Bazinet et al. “Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in the treatment of overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes: A double-blind randomized controlled trial.” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 27, no. 2 (2017): 138-146.|
|↑7||Rebello, Candida J., Carol E. O’Neil, and Frank L. Greenway. “Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety.” Nutrition reviews 74, no. 2 (2015): 131-147.|
|↑8||Fiber. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑9||Tremblay, Angelo, Hélène Arguin, and Shirin Panahi. “Capsaicinoids: a spicy solution to the management of obesity?.” International Journal of Obesity (2015).|
|↑10||Wansink, Brian, and Koert Van Ittersum. “Portion size me: Plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 19, no. 4 (2013): 320.2.|
|↑11||Mishra, Arul, Himanshu Mishra, and Tamara M. Masters. “The influence of bite size on quantity of food consumed: a field study.” Journal of Consumer Research 38, no. 5 (2011): 791-795.|
|↑12||Robinson, Eric, Paul Aveyard, Amanda Daley, Kate Jolly, Amanda Lewis, Deborah Lycett, and Suzanne Higgs. “Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating.” The American journal of clinical nutrition (2013): ajcn-045245.|