Sharing Food: One Way to Cut Down Your Portions

Sharing food is a great way to help cut down on portion size. One of the worst parts of eating out is the often over-sized portions that restaurants serve. If you’re working on portion control, a full plate of food can be overwhelming and you will likely overeat subconsciously. We tend to eat what’s on our plate regardless of how much is there or how big the plate size is. This is due to a variety of reasons, including our childhood habits or a need to please. When you know the proper portions you should be eating and make a conscious effort to consume a healthy portion size, you’ll retrain your brain and body, helping you lose weight.

Proper Portion Size

Make sure the friend you’re eating with knows the proper portion sizes also, to help make the ordering decision an easy one. The general rule when it comes to portion size is: protein no more than the size of your palm (approx. 4 oz.), 2 cups or more of veggies (there’s really no limit here, just watch the butter) and about 1/2 cup of grains/starches. Another great way to do it is to take a look at a standard dinner plate. You want half of the plate piled high with veggies, one quarter with lean protein and the last quarter with whole grains.

Shared Taste

Before you can split a dish with another person you need to make sure you have the same tastes. If you eat healthier and they eat with more butter and foods that are significantly more rich, then they’re going to eat more than they should or you’re going to indulge in too many calories.

Split down the Middle

Sharing your food doesn’t mean one person eats all the meat and potatoes and the other eats all the veggies. Family style dishes are much easier to split. This could be a low-calorie pasta dish, a casserole or stir fry. If you want to cut even more calories, ask the server to have the chef make your meal without butter or adding oil to the cooking process. Make sure your veggies are steamed with no fat added and your meat grilled with little to no oil used.

You can learn to visualize and stay within your portion control when sharing food with a friend. This is great to spend time with friends, support each other’s weight loss and healthy eating, keep your portion sizes under control and be a little nicer to your pocketbook. Many restaurants have no problem with food sharing. Always ask for an extra plate and have them split the bill. If you order foods with sauces, dressings or additional garnish, ask for them on the side to share and control the fat you add to the dish. Dinner out with friends doesn’t have to bust your diet; you can share with friends and help each other stay on track.

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