Mindless Portion Control Tips

Updated: Feb. 08, 2017

Nuts Measure out and transfer 1-ounce portions into resealable bags. While nuts are a very healthy food and have even


Measure out and transfer 1-ounce portions into resealable bags. While nuts are a very healthy food and have even been shown to assist in weight loss, one large handful could hold more calories than you need.

Hard cheese

Runnersworld.com offers this tip for cheese: Whenever you have a block of cheese, read how many servings come in a package, and then score the cheese appropriately so you know what a single portion should look like.

Butter and cream cheese

Score as you did for the cheese into teaspoon-size portions for butter and 1-ounce portions for cream cheese.

Fatty cold cuts

Calories from salami and pepperoni can add up fast. Divide into 1-ounce servings and separate with plastic wrap or parchment paper. This is wise to do for lean meats as well, mainly because you will see how much more turkey you can eat versus salami.


The box of pasta waits at the back of your pantry until hunger strikes, then you pour half the box into a pot with wild abandon. Instead, divide up the pasta into reasonable 2-ounce portions. Yeah, it’s skimpy looking for 200 calories. Maybe you should eat a big salad instead!

Ice cream

You know when you get home and the ice cream is the perfect consistency? Take that time to scoop out the ice cream onto a cold cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the ice cream is solid then transfer to a large freezer bag. The typical ice cream scoop is a half cup which is also the amount in a serving. When you want a serving, pop it in a cup and enjoy without the bent spoons and accidental extra ingestion.


A big bag of M&Ms is enticing. Divide it up immediately into smaller portions. With this trick you can save money by buying economy-sized bags of candy but still get the health benefits of the those little 100-calorie packs. While you’re at it do the same for cookies.

Chocolate bars

They are usually already divided up. If you snap them along these lines and store them you will be less likely to keep right on snapping when the mood strikes.


All food should be individually portioned into containers that you can pop into the microwave. This works for home-cooked meals as well as restaurant meals. These smaller portions will probably satisfy you and stop you from eating all of the leftovers in one sitting.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest