To lose weight, you must watch what you eat, and one way to do that is portion control. Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself; it means you simply need to modify eating habits. With the help of portion control, eat less without feeling hungry. Try these portion control tips and watch the pounds drop.

Start the meal with water.

Think of it as an appetizer and drink a 16 oz. glass of water before you eat. The water will make you feel full and eliminate the hungry feeling.   With a belly full of water, you are less likely to overeat.

Just add more vegetables.

As you prepare your meals, add more vegetables to the entree to bulk it up. By adding vegetables, you add nutrients and even fiber to your meals. Swap in mushrooms, spinach, or spring watercress and walk away full.

A plate can change everything.

According to a Cornell University study, the actual size and color of the plate matters. Researchers found a contrast in color of the plate with the food, people are less likely to overeat. If the food matches the color of the plate, people are 22% more likely to eat more because they can’t see the portion size ends and the plate begins.

Remove distractions.

Before sitting down to dinner, put the smartphone away and turn off the TV. A study revealed, people who watch television during meals tend to consume more than those without any distractions. Even at work, eat lunch away from your desk. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that people who played computer games during lunch felt less full and ended up eating again later in the afternoon.   Focus on your food, chew slowly, and savor every bite.

End on a sweet note.

Signify the end of the meal by consuming a sweet treat. Try one of the many Ideal Protein desserts and satisfy the craving as a healthy ritual to signal the meal is complete. If sweets aren’t your thing, brew a flavorful decaf tea like peppermint or cinnamon with a no-calorie sweetener.

The next time you prepare a meal or snack, remember these simple portion control tips to stay in control. By monitoring portions, you are more aware of what goes in your body. Take it a step further and use a smaller dinner plate and a salad fork to eat meals; it conditions you to take smaller bites, chew slower, and control calorie intake. Reach out to your Ideal Protein coach for more portion control tips. Not on the Ideal Protein diet yet? Find out what you could be losing – get started today!