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9 Secret Tricks to Eating in Moderation

Looking to eat smarter portion sizes—and even shed those extra pounds? Here are my tricks for eating in moderation.

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Woman eating a healthy bowl of superfoods; Shutterstock ID 724511170Shutterstock / Joana Lopes

Practice mindful eating

Before you have a meal, think about the health benefits you’ll get. Having a “health-focused mindset” could be the key to eating in moderation as well as making better decisions about food. In a recent study, participants who thought about their health before choosing meals selected smaller portions. (One of our editors tried mindful eating. Here’s what he thought.)

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my plate - portion control guideShutterstock / Oleksandra Naumenko

Avoid family-style dining

Sure, there’s something comforting about having the roast chicken, side dishes and salad in the center of the table. But it might be causing you to overeat! Dish up your meal at the kitchen counter instead, so you won’t be tempted to eat more than you need.

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Egg topped avocado toastTaste of Home

Stop skipping breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day! Research suggests that eating a healthy meal in the morning can lead to better overall health and wellness. Not eating breakfast could lead to you doubling up your portion sizes later in the day. Don’t miss these protein-rich breakfasts that’ll keep you full.

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My plate - vegan portion control guideShutterstock / Oleksandra Naumenko

Try pre-portioned meals

When you’re the type of person who piles your plate up high, there’s one easy way to change your ways. Eating portion-controlled meals could lead to weight loss. Just use something like these portion control containers to help you out.

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Young woman having healthy breakfastShutterstock / Africa Studio

Keep a food journal

Do you know what you really eat on a daily basis? Keeping track of your snacks and meals will help you avoid overeating. One study from Kaiser Permanente suggests that this simple change can double your weight loss over time. Simply get yourself a diary and make a habit out of noting down what you eat.

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Portrait of stressed young housewife in modern kitchenShutterstock / Alliance

Reduce your stress levels

Being stressed out has been linked to overeating time and time again. Take measures to relax in the morning, after work or near the end of the day. Doing so could stop you from eating more food than you need.

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Fresh salad with chicken, tomatoes and mixed greens (arugula, mesclun, mache) on wooden background close up.Elenadesign/Shutterstock

Eat small, healthy meals

Not eating much throughout the day and then having one massive meal at dinner is not the best choice. Research shows that eating regularly can help you eat in moderation. You’ll want to have small, healthy meals throughout the day.

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Healthy meal prep containers with quinoa, chicken and cole slawElena Veselova/Shutterstock

Start meal prepping

Meal prepping is the latest trend when it comes to cooking. It’s convenient—and you’ll portion out your food in advance. That means that you’re more likely to make sensible meal sizes. This collection of easy meal prep recipes is a great place to start.

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Senior couple eating breakfast at home.Shutterstock / Halfpoint

Eat before you go out

It’s hard to find healthy options at a party or restaurant—and people tend to eat more when they’re in a group setting. Before you go, eat a snack at home and then meet your friends. You won’t be as tempted to over-indulge!

Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger is a creative feature writer, with a flair for food, health and lifestyle pieces. Her work has been seen in a number of national publications including Beyond Words Magazine, Reader's Digest and Psychologies. When she’s not typing away, you can find her trying out new recipes or binging Netflix shows— sometimes simultaneously.