The Dietary Guidelines encourage you toenjoy your food, but eat less and to avoid oversized portions.
The amount you eat or drink plays an important role in your energy balance strategy. Most people eat and drink more when served larger portions. Choosing smaller portions can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Your Daily Food Plan helps you manage your daily intake by recommending the amount of food you need from each food group.
Your portions at each meal do not need to be any specific amount-but to stay within your energy needs, the total amount you eat each day should match the total amount recommended for each group. For example, 1 regular slice of bread counts as 1 ounce of grains. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat a sandwich with one piece of bread. It just means that if you eat two slices, you should count them both toward your total grain intake for the day.
Get started eating smaller portions:
- To figure out how big your portions really are, use a measuring cup.
- Measure a fixed amount of some foods and drinks to see what they look like in your glasses and plates. For example, measure 1 cup of juice to see what 1 cup of liquid looks like in your favorite glass.
- Pay attention to feelings of hunger. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full.
- A simple trick to help you eat less is to use a smaller plate, bowl, or glass.
- It is important to think about portion sizes when eating out. Order a smaller size option, when it’s available. If not share larger portions or take home part of your meal.
- If you tend to overeat, be aware of the time of day, place, and your mood while eating so you can better control the amount you eat. Some people overeat when stressed or upset. Try walking instead of eating, or snack on a healthier option. For example, instead of eating a bag of chips, crunch on some celery, or instead of eating a bowl of ice cream, enjoy a low-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries. Making healthier choices is better for your weight and can also help you feel better.