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Thread: Portion Control

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    Portion Control

    Does portion control get easier? I have been struggling with this lately. I cant just seem to eat one or two of something.... I need more and more and more.

    What do you do to keep your portions in check? I do count all the calories and weigh stuff but I tend to over portion and eat eat eat. GRRRRR.

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    I really hope it does. My wife and I have been seriously portioning lately. Even after a 28 mile ride on Saturday I still stayed under my 1600 calorie max. I felt like chewing my arm offf in the middle of the night.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Does portion control get easier? I have been struggling with this lately. I cant just seem to eat one or two of something.... I need more and more and more.

    What do you do to keep your portions in check? I do count all the calories and weigh stuff but I tend to over portion and eat eat eat. GRRRRR.
    I've been on a two week binge after a year of pretty consistent weight loss and maintenance. The desire to overeat seems to come and go for me. Right now I am in a bad spot and want to eat, eat, eat. I had my largest calorie day a few days ago when I drove 500 miles from our Minnesota place to our Iowa place. I bought a bag of candy on impulse and ate the entire bag. I think I ate close to 2500 calories that day.

    I think my recent issues might be partly because I am cooped up inside too much with crappy weather. Plus, too many family and friend visits and when I hooked up with my spouse again he had made fudge. Ack! He kindly gave most of it away.

    Now there is nothing bad in the house and I trust I will get back into the swing of things.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 11-21-11 at 08:47 PM.

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    I'll be honest, the only way I can control myself right now is to have ZERO access to it. I make my lunch then I split it in half, pack a snack and bring no cards or cash to work.

    It's not easy, but from past experiences it does get easier.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock31 View Post
    I'll be honest, the only way I can control myself right now is to have ZERO access to it.
    So true for me!

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    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac
    What do you do to keep your portions in check?
    I find stuff that fills me up and stick with that. I eat couple donuts for breakfast and I'm ravenous within a couple hours--I eat my special oatmeal/milk/egg breakfast which is half the calories and I'm good until lunch. If I'm running late and have to go to the convenience store I head straight for the clif bars--one of those is surprisingly satisfying and I'm good.


    Quote Originally Posted by jlp1976 View Post
    I really hope it does. My wife and I have been seriously portioning lately. Even after a 28 mile ride on Saturday I still stayed under my 1600 calorie max. I felt like chewing my arm offf in the middle of the night.
    I'm no expert, and fat too, so take what I say with a salt lick--but 1600 calories seems way too low, especially after 28 miles of biking. Not only would something like that set me up for a huge binge and gain, but it would start wrecking my muscle mass.
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

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    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    My wife and I find the best way for portion control is to only make a proper portion available at the meal - no seconds allowed.

    I am resigned to this being part of my life from here on out - I figger I indulged myself enough over the past years that as the worm has turned I now have to battle to not overindulge. But if I ride, stay heavy on the protein, it isn't as hard.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

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    I'm in such a bad period for weight control right now, I feel embarrassed even trying to give advice. But I know that what worked for me in the past was MODERATE exercise (45 minutes to one hour per day, six days a week), and adjusting calorie intake to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week. There's no way to not be hungry or somewhat dissatisfied when you're losing weight - your body has to let you know that you're deficit spending, living on savings. But if it's agony, you may be overdoing it. My most successful diets have been the ones that I've been patient with. (Though I did lose 93 lbs one year with Atkins, back in the 1970s; it nearly killed me...)
    L'asino di Buridano...

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
    I find stuff that fills me up and stick with that. I eat couple donuts for breakfast and I'm ravenous within a couple hours--I eat my special oatmeal/milk/egg breakfast which is half the calories and I'm good until lunch. If I'm running late and have to go to the convenience store I head straight for the clif bars--one of those is surprisingly satisfying and I'm good.
    +1 I've found for me what seems to work best is to eat something different that is lower cal than trying to just eat a little of something high cal. For example I'll make a dinner composed of half a chicken breast (about 6 oz) and fairly large portions of carrots, kale and broccoli and I can generally keep that close to or under 400 calories and I don't feel like I need to eat anything else later. For me veggies/salad (careful with the dressing) work great because I can still eat enough food without a ton of calories. Granted my portion size overall has gone down and I only cook enough to eat in one sitting, if there is enough for leftovers you are going to eat more.

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    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock31 View Post
    I'll be honest, the only way I can control myself right now is to have ZERO access to it. I make my lunch then I split it in half, pack a snack and bring no cards or cash to work.

    It's not easy, but from past experiences it does get easier.
    This pretty much sums up what works for me as well.

    In order for me to stop thinking about food, I need a major distraction. I have two or three distractions that take my mind off eating more during the work week: First, I would eat something that has less than 600 calories, then 1) Hop on my motorcycle and ride around town until my lunch break is over, 2) Stop by the car dealerships and sit in the cars, get high off the new car aromas, or 3) Go to home improvement stores and walk around & browse everything for ideas.

    Because I ate something before these distractions, by the time a half hour passes, I am no longer hungry. If I do get hungry a couple hours later, I have some light snacks like rice cakes or wheat thins and grab a handful.

    On the weekends, if I sit around and watch TV, I will eat all the time, but I have enough projects going on to keep my mind off food.

    And, no, it ain't easy. It takes big cojones and willpower to order a salad instead of the Baconator.

    Besides, Arby's has the best grilled chicken salads out of the major fast food chains, IMHO, and is delicious.

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    Things that help me

    Drink a lot(!) of plain water (none of that Aspartame water). I get mine from the ground and I'll drink a gallon a day easy.
    Eat slow. Put the fork or spoon down between bites.
    Salads more than meats. For salad dressings use the Walden Farms no sugar, no fat, no carbs, gluten free kinds.
    apples or fruits
    zero access to "bad" foods.

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    Cook your own meals. Make smaller portions. When the meal is gone, don't reach for other things to eat.

    For example, the GF and I eat good amount of fish. I will buy a set amount per person, and she makes a sensible salad for two. When it's all gone, the meal is over. It's not a bottomless pit of food that we can keep digging into until we are stuffed to the gills.

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    Don't do anything else while you eat. No phone, no text, no computer, no book, no TV. Just concentrate on your meal, savor it. Conversation with a real live in-person person is OK
    Don't gulp it down. Take your time.
    If you screw up and overeat sometime during the day that does NOT MEAN you get to keep stuffing it in. Acknowledge you screwed up and carry on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eay View Post
    Don't do anything else while you eat. No phone, no text, no computer, no book, no TV. Just concentrate on your meal, savor it. Conversation with a real live in-person person is OK
    Don't gulp it down. Take your time.
    Good points. Before the GF moved in with me, I routinely ate in front of the TV. Now, we sit at the dinner table and eat together with the TV off. It has certainly helped slow me down.

    I also think that preparing meals with and for a partner who eats less than I do has helped me prepare smaller portions. And since there is a limited amount of food that we have to share, I end up eating less.

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    One of the lessons I've tried teaching myself, and it's an ongoing battle, is that the first bite doesn't taste any different then the 30th bite. If I want chips, I'll grab 3 of them as opposed to a whole bag.
    01:20:23:00
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    I plan a use for my leftovers. Second helpings are already spoken for as they will probably be my stir fry on a night my wife has to work.
    Another thing that may help is to eat Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals for a few days. It may help your body and mind learn portion control.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

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    The other thing I do to control (or attempt control) of the portions is to plan the food for the day based on the calorie total. I build my breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the grand total, which is hopefully a deficit number. Then I only fix that much food - I don't like to cook for several nites in one batch, because I will find a way to transform it into seconds and thirds, or to kill it off in a midnight snack. I also try to make my snacks high protein (say a hard boiled egg or cheese instead of a cliff bar), which seem to keep the hunger away. I will often have a protein shake right after I get home - relatively low calorie, and the protein kills and holds off the appetite pretty well.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

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    For me, what helps is eating slower digesting foods. Nuts, brown rice, oatmeal and lots of protein. If I happen to eat a higher carb meal because I'm rushing I have a very hard time controlling hunger. I find "kind" brand bars are a pretty falling snack, oatmeal or egg whites, 1/4 cup of nuts etc, can be pretty filling without too many calories. Greens are pretty good too, basically anything high fiber or high protein will be filling and last a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david58 View Post
    Then I only fix that much food - I don't like to cook for several nites in one batch, because I will find a way to transform it into seconds and thirds, or to kill it off in a midnight snack.
    Exactly. Prepare an amount (preferably a sensible one), and when it's gone, you are done with the meal. For instance, when I cook pasta, I don't make the entire package with the view to eating the rest some other night. I make a sensible amount for me (or the both of us) and when it has been eaten, the meal is over. There is no opportunity to eat more of it.

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Some tricks I use:

    1) it's easier to say no to food in the grocery store for me. So when I go grocery shopping, I buy myself only as much food as I am allowed to eat until next grocery day. If I happen to eat it all before then, tough ****, I'll have to go hungry.
    2) Buy a food scale, and MEASURE EVERYTHING. Leave it in a prominent place that's easily accessible. I measure one ounce of everything, and leave the food in the kitchen, and only take an ounce with me to wherever I'm going to eat it. More often than not I'll simply forget about being hungry after I eat that ounce of food.

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    It has never gotten easier for me. The best I can say is once I've practiced it a while (a few months), if I go back to my normal size portions I'll feel uncomfortably bloated, but that still doesn't curb the urge to eat everything in sight. Eating, whether meals or snacks, has to be an intellectual exercise, approached with logic and realistic thinking. Emotion has no place in the process. Way easier said than done, IMO.
    Craig in Indy

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