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May 19, 2015 3 min read

We all know, at this point, that in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume- but that doesn't always mean you have to go hungry. If you're doing all of the clean-eating right and still not seeing the results, it may mean you need to check your portion control. Here are 13 tips to help control your portions without counting down the seconds until your next meal:

Start With A Glass Of Water

Drink a big glass of water right before you eat. Filling your belly with liquid will make you less likely to overeat. Not to mention, many hunger signals are actually just linked to dehydration.

Wear Form-Fitting Clothes

We aren't saying to squeeze in to something too small for you. That being said, if a waistband is already snug on a pair of pants, it may just be the feeling you need to stop you from reaching for seconds or thirds.

Use Veggies as "Fillers"

You can stock upon veggies and eat to your hearts content - this will fill you up and cut calories! Just make sure you're preparing them without oils.

Dine On Dinnerware That Helps You Lose

According to a 2012 Cornell University study, the colour contrast of food to plate may influence just how much you consume.  The researchers discovered that when a plate and the food on it had a low color-contrast (like pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate), people at a buffet served themselves 22% more than when there was a higher color-contrast (like pasta with red sauce on a white plate or pasta with Alfredo sauce on a red plate). So, if you want to eat less, select plates that have a color-contrast to the food you're eating for dinner. Or if you want to eat more healthy foods, like a bigger salad, eat greens from a large green plate or bowl!

Make Carbs Your Topper - Not The Base

Rethink the way you use grains and starches. For example: instead of starting with a granola base on a parfait, fill your cup with yogurt and then sprinkle just a tiny amount of granola on top for the crunch you crave.

Set The Mood For Slower Dining

Dim the lights and listen to relaxing music for a leisurely meal. This will allow your body to process the food you're eating and prevents overeating. l0uLHg9VqdkXf_Jxm3pURhu-yJVJCgJLU7L41eBash4

Work For Your Food

Eat foods that require shelling, peeling, or individual unwrapping. Oranges, edamame and pistachios in their shells are healthy options.

Don't Eat From The Bag/Box

Researchers from Cornell University sought to answer this question in a study and found that people ate 50% more chips when they were given no visual cues as to how large a portion should be. So if you buy a bag of pretzels or tin of nuts that contains 10 servings, divide the contents of the container into 10 smaller baggies ahead of time.

Slurp Your Appetizer

Have some soup as an app. Though it may seem counterintuitive to add more to your meal, research shows that starting a meal with soup may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. In a 2007 study, people who ate soup before their lunch entrée reduced their total calorie intake by 20%. Your best bet: a broth-based soup, preferably with veggies to help you feel full from the natural fibre.

Drink From A Tall Glass

It's okay to have a cocktail with your meal but keep it to one glass and enjoy it slowly. To trick yourself into believing you're having more, pour your drink into a tall, thin glass.

Limit Distractions

Shut off your phone or TV when you eat as many studies have shown this leads to overeating. As for the office dwellers, step away from your computer at lunch.

Use Smaller Plates and Servers

Using a smaller plate and serving utensil can help trick the mind in to believing it's eating a full plate - while still being within you portion controlled limits.

Brew A Sweet Treat

Many people have trained their bodies to expect something sweet post-meal. Brew yourself a nice flavourful tea like peppermint, cinnamon, chocolate, or one of your favorite fruity varieties for a low-or-no-calorie sweet-tooth satisfier.  

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