Being aware of realistic portion sizes and visualizing portions or using the "divided plate" concept will help you avoid overeating. But sometimes these visual cues can be hard - especially when foods are difficult to measure, like a sandwich, or they're foods like chips and cookies that we tend to eat right out of the bag.
Take the Steps . The solution is clear - mind the portions. I know, it's easier said than done but everything worth doing is doing right. If you are already aware of the fact that, in America, our portions are typically double what they should be, you're on the right track. Just take the time to make the changes. You mentioned eating chips out of the bag - why would you do that? Create a portion in a bowl and stop there. Don't eat out of that bag! If you're at a restaurant and there's a basket of bread, have one piece. We are not goldfish. We don't need to eat everything that's put in front of us because we "don't know better." We do. Take care of yourself. Mind your portions.
Important too, when dining out. I'm trying a "diet" of sorts....basically snacking less and eating healthier size portions. A little road block was thrown in front of me today-I ate out twice, once with coworkers and once with my boyfriend. At lunch, I opted for the salad along with a sandwich. An appetizer of seafood was very tempting, so I listened to my stomach (something that I think I, and others, don't do enough when our favorite foods are in front of us) and stopped. At dinner, when the waiter came to pick up my boyfriend's cleared plate, I handed him my half-full bowl of pasta without a though, and told him to wrap it.
So, I seemed to have discovered what works for me....don't think about it, just stop when you feel satisfied. The portions idea is great, and I've tried it at home, but dining out throws a curveball.
It's true, eating out of the bag is bad.... I've accidentally eaten an entire bag of chips without realizing it. I think we all have. The best solution is to make it a regular practice to never eat straight from the box or bag. Before you start snacking, just put a reasonable amount into a small bowl or cup and eat slowly in order to savor and enjoy--rather than mindlessly "inhaling". Put the bag/box away BEFORE you start snacking so you're less tempted to "refill".
Do it every time and don't fool yourself by thinking, I'll just eat a few so I don't need to watch the portion...yeah right, if you're like most of us, you'll end up eating half the bag!
SIZE OF YOUR FIST. That's the portion of meat/poultry you should eat. As far as bagged goods - I put them into individual baggies by portion - It's a little time consuming, but one day I realized I had eaten 3 portions and if I'd been eating the popcorn outta the bag, I never woulda known.
Snack Baggies!. Major snack companies (e.g. Nabisco) have obviously caught on to our attempt at portion controls via the now infamous 100 calorie packs. There is nothing magical about the contents per se, it is the fact that the portion size is controlled. Somehow you are much more conscious of how much you are eating when you have to keep opening up bags.
The cost per serving of these 100 calorie packs, however, is CRAZY (overeating has its own cost of course in terms of contribution to obesity and related issues, but you get my point).
I have found that you can put almost ANYTHING in one of those snack size baggies and it will be about 100 calories. It is a little more work, but if you do a whole bunch all at once it goes pretty fast. I put dry cereal, pretzels, chips, etc. in these bags. It also gives lunches some variety and they can be eaten in the car (on the way to work, run errands), etc. Kind of takes away the excuse to not eat all day (which is critical to keeping metabolism pace going).