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It’s not news that healthy eating is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle.

Portion control can make a huge difference; in fact, a study showed that 38% of people who practiced portion control for two years lost 5% or more of their body weight. You don’t have to starve yourself. Just follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the right portion sizes for different foods:

  • Find the balance between starving yourself and over eating. Plan at least three meals and one snack every day – and try not to go more than five hours without eating something small.
  • Get to know serving sizes and number of calories. For instance, one egg has the same amount of calories as half a cup of baked beans (110) and is equal to one serving size of protein. Plan ahead and choose your foods wisely!
  • When eating out, remember that restaurants serve above and beyond the recommended portions for one person. Share large entrees with a friend, or set aside half to take home before you start eating.
  • Plate your food instead of putting a serving dish on your dinner table. That way, you can avoid those second and third helpings, after you’re already full.
  • Don’t eat straight from the package. The bigger the container, the more you’ll tend to eat. Take out a single serving and save the rest for later.
  • Snacking is not the enemy. Don’t worry about spoiling your dinner and go ahead and grab a healthy snack like a piece of fruit if you’re getting hungry before your next meal. This will help you avoid over-eating when you sit down at lunch or dinner.
  • Know the difference between serving size and portion size. If a bag of chips contains two servings, then only eat half the bag, or make sure to double the calorie, fat and carbohydrate amounts on the nutrition label in your daily count.

The most important thing you can do is be mindful of what you are eating. Plan your meals, eat slowly, and portion control will be easy as… a small piece of pie.