{Frugally} Fighting FRUMP: Diet & Nutrition Week #4: {Non-obsessive} Portion Contol

Portion Control

My PERSONAL CHALLENGE for 2013??  Fighting Frump – on a  limited budget, of course!  You can read more about why HERE.

JANUARY – Diet & Nutrition

Week #4 – “{Non-obsessive} Portion Control”

(or “My HEALTHY Love Affair with Food”)

So, this week’s goal – research additional ways to control my portions WITHOUT being obsessive:)  I’ve done the calorie-counting gig – and its great for a time – but for me its not sustainable.  So, I’m attempting to “re-progam” my relationship with food so that I can a) enjoy the foods my family eats {without guilt} and b) maintain a healthy weight.  The only healthy option – portion control!  Of course exercise and physical activities are a must – just not the focus for January:)

A quick update on Week #3 – Healthy Snacking: I found a lot of fun, practical, inexpensive, AND  healthy snack ideas and I’ve got a post planned for later this week that I can’t wait to share.  I personally feel like snacking helps me reduce overall intake because I’m not so ravenously hungry at meals!


Portion Control Strategies, Tips, & Tricks


These are the tips and tricks that allow me to eat what I like – just in reasonable size portions.  With my body type and activity levels I find I can eat almost anything in controlled quantities and maintain a healthy weight.  I know this doesn’t work for everyone – but the portion control tips are still applicable.  You’ll just need to adjust the foods to what works  for you.

  1. DRINK WATER BEFORE YOUR MEALS – Ok, not really my strong suit.  I just don’t love the taste of water BUT I do this to a) get the hydration my body needs and b) because I find I eat less if I do.  The water fills your thirst which most of us can sometimes mistake for hunger or compensate for with additional food.
  2. EAT REGULARLY – For myself this means eating three meals a day and two snacks (between breakfast/lunch and lunch/dinner).  Some things I’ve seen suggest eating every 3-4 hours.  For me the time between is less – but I’m on my kids schedule for the most part:)
  3. LEARN WHAT MEASUREMENTS OF FOOD LOOK LIKE – I learned a great deal in my calorie-counting experience last year.  Can you accurately eyeball what a cup of cereal looks like?  How about a 1/4 cup of nuts?  Until you have a grasp on what these measurements look like try actually measuring them.  You’ll then get used to how much it is so it will come naturally to self-ration later.
  4. INVEST IN A KITCHEN SCALE – Remember, I’m all about NOT being obsessive…but there are some high fat, high calorie foods that I LOVE that can be huge barriers to my healthy living goals if I don’t portion correctly.  A kitchen scale lets you weigh any of your problem foods.  Eventually you can stop using it – as long as you are diligent.  I still use mine to weigh chips.  I LOVE chips and this is a simple way for me to know that I’m eating a reasonable amount.  Added time?  MAYBE 30 seconds (on the very high end).
  5. PRE-PACK SNACKS – A no-brainer for when you’re out and about but I’ve taken to portioning my staple snacks into small containers that I can just grab at snack time here at home.  For me I’m often prepping the kids stuff at the same time and its really easy to grab more then is appropriate.  If its already portioned I can just grab and eat:)  My current staples:  1/4 C almonds, 1/4 C cranberries, or 7 generic Triscuits.
  6. STORE LEFT-OVERS IN INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS – By lunch time I’m HUNGRY.  When left-overs are stored in one big portion (ex. Lasagna) I inevitably serve myself more then I need.  By storing left-overs in appropriate servings when I’m full after dinner I lessen the burden on my hungry self to make good choices at lunch!
  7. STORE MEASURING TOOLS WITH THE FOOD – We eat a ton of cranberries (a TON!!).  I’ve started storing a 1/4 cup measuring cup right in the package.  This keeps me from grabbing handfuls…a) more hygenic and b) better size servings.  I do this with our cereal also.
  8. SERVE FOODS WITH MEASURING CUPS – You have to dirty something to serve your food anyway, why not use a measuring cup?  I often do this with stews, soups, and pastas – which leads to:
  9. 1 CUP SERVINGS OF PASTA – We all know too much carbs are not so good.   BUT, this girl loves some pasta – marinara, cream, cheese sauce? – doesn’t matter, I love, love, love them all.  I don’t worry to much about the sauce type – I figure it all works out over time.  As a rule though, 1 cup of pasta is an appropriate portion for me and I’d think most women.  This is what I serve myself at dinner and package as left-overs for lunches.
  10. SAVOR YOUR FOODS – Goes without saying, right?  But how often do you eat without thinking about it OR enjoying it?  If you’re going to eat it, enjoy it.  PERIOD.  Otherwise wait until you can eat something you’ll enjoy.  Remember too that if something you eat causes you to feel guilty later then your NOT really enjoying it.
  11. CHEW GUM/BRUSH YOUR TEETH – Had enough?  Stop yourself from picking during clean-up by chewing gum or brushing your teeth.  I’ve been using this trick during meal prep and clean-up  – where I usually was eating without even thinking – and it works.  At at restaurant or meeting where gum would be inappropriate?  Use a mint.
  12. LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE OF EACH BATCH OF DESSERT – Made brownies for your family?  Have ONE OR TWO – not half the pan.  We make a fun dessert each Friday during daycare.  I try to limit my consumption to one or two.  The rest the kiddos can eat OR can be frozen for another time.  We also like to share the dessert love with my daycare clients and next-door-neighbors (i.e. Grandma & Grandpa:)
  13. SPREAD LIGHTLY – I LOVE peanut butter, mayo, butter, Nutella, jelly…you get the picture.  I’ve learned that I enjoy the toast or sandwich just as much with a light spread of the desired ingredient.  Not to little or you don’t taste it but not too much either.  Most spreads are high calorie, high fat so any reduction helps!

I hope you’ve gotten at least a couple of ideas on what you can do to better control your portions.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some additional tips – including some attitude shifts that I have found really helpful.  I’ll also post my Food Journal – I did GREAT last week!!

Any tips and tricks that you use?  I’d love to expand my arsenal of portion control ideas!

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,


I anticipate linking this challenge up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES – if I get up the nerve:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster


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