5 Portion Control Tactics You’ve Never Heard Of

If you want fresh ideas on how to practice not filling to the brim at your next holiday party, here's five. Hint: Use a blue plate.


Sure it’s easy to say you won’t overeat, but when those french fries are staring you in the face it’s a lot easier said than done. Inevitably you end up in the “food coma” and a really full stomach. Jay Cardiello, celebrity trainer for people like Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent and Ryan Seacrest and co-founder of the health and wellness program OffTheScale, has five simple tactics to have you walking away from the table satisfied—not uncomfortably stuffed!

It takes the brain 15 minutes to recognize you’re full. So the key to preventing food coma is to slow down the pace at which you eat. Here are five tactics to getting your fill without the belly ache that forces you to skip your next run:

Tactic #1: Go blue!
We’ve heard that plate size matters, but plate color matters too!  So what plate color is ideal at preventing food coma? Blue! If you think about it, blue foods are scarce in nature. Blueberries are probably the only naturally blue food that comes to mind. So not only are there few blue foods out there, but we also don’t associate the color blue with food. Blue is unattractive to us in terms of food, which can help curb your appetite.

Tactic #2: Righties go lefty, lefties go righty
Avoiding food coma could be as easy as swapping hands. If you’re a righty, try eating with your left hand. If you’re a lefty, try eating with your right hand. This will slow you down considerably and help you to be more conscious about what you’re eating. (At home, try eating with chopsticks.)

Tactic #3: Give your food a hand
The best and most readily available tool you have when it comes to portion control is your hand! It’s the perfect measurement guide. For example, rice and pasta should be no bigger than a fist, which is about 1 cup. Meat, fish and poultry should be about the size of the palm, about 3 ounces. And cheese about the size of your thumb, about 1 ounce.

Tactic #4: Fitted clothes equals staying fit
If you wear comfy clothes, you’ll feel too at ease with the potential to eat more. Elastic clothes make it too easy to expand your waistline! Wearing fitted clothing can help you from overeating because it’s just a tad too uncomfortable.

Tactic #5: Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self
A little bit here, a little bit there…grazing can put you in a food coma before you know it. Why make it easy for yourself to snack? A couple rules to live by: the “Arm’s Length Rule.” This means to simply stand at least an arm’s length away from where the food is. This makes it less tempting to grab for food when you might not even be hungry for it. Also, the “Stand, Don’t Sit Rule.” Ever try eating a plate of food while holding a drink and having a conversation? It can be a little awkward. Try standing; you’re likely to eat less than if you were comfortably sitting.