Health Advocate Blog

Ask a Health Advocate: How can I lose those extra holiday pounds?

You’re not alone—many of us indulged in one too many treats at holiday gatherings. But now that the holiday season has ended and the New Year is here, it’s a great time to get your weight under control again.

A vital step in any weight management plan is to discover and implement strategies for portion control.  Try these portion control tips and tricks to kick-start your weight loss goals:

  • Go smaller. Use smaller plates and bowls to shrink your portion sizes. You can even try using smaller cutlery in order to slow yourself down and take more manageable bites as you eat.
  • Cut your portion size in half. For example, if you are used to eating a whole deli sandwich at lunch, just eat half and supplement your meal with fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Ask for a doggie bag. Research shows that restaurant portions are often twice as big as they were just 10-15 years ago.  You can even ask your server to box up half your meal before it reaches the table.
  • Good things come in smaller packages. Consider buying individually-sized packages of food to help keep portion size under control. Or, if you enjoy the cost-savings of buying in bulk, divvy the food up by putting single servings in small sandwich bags.
  • Know the standards. Do you know how many cookies, crackers, or chips there are in a serving? Check the package and see how many servings you are really consuming. Learn what a controlled portion looks like by measuring it a few times. Then you’ll be able to “eyeball” it and guess more accurately. To learn how well you know your portion sizes, take the Portion Distortion quizzesoffered by MyPlate!
  • Don’t deny yourself. Indulge in the foods you really love, but in moderation. A food’s taste loses some intensity after a few bites, so those first mouthfuls are the best anyway.

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for one-on-one weight management support.

Have a question for a Health Advocate? Email, and your question may be answered in an upcoming column!