Martha Stewart's Chicken and Dumplings for the first time and am in love. It's tasty, it's comforting, and I could eat bowls and bowls and bowls of it if I wasn't desperately trying to lose weight! My problem is that full-ness isn't ever an obstacle... if I like something, I can eat it enough of it to feed an Italian family reunion in one sitting, knowing that the worst consequence I'm facing is possible uncomfortable full-ness for half an hour, max. Flattering, I know, but you need to know where I'm coming from. I don't have the 'full' switch, which means that I can't really trust my stomach to tell me when I've eaten enough, because the bitch lies! Couple that with the fact that I'm a passionate foodie and well... we have a fairly obvious problem. The solution? Controlled portions! I'm really trying to work on my portion sizes, and while I still fail every now and then, I'm picking up some good ideas that I wanted to share, for those who might have a similar struggle:
- Serve your meal in a smaller bowl/plate so that the smaller portion still looks like a full serve
- Consciously stop eating halfway through your meal and assess whether you are still hungry
- Have someone else serve your food to you (I'm a sucker for adding 'just a little more' when I plate my own food!)
- If you're starving, drink a big glass of water just before serving your meal - you'll be less hungry and less inclined to go for a bigger portion
- After serving your meal, take one scoop and put it back in the pot!
- Stretch a "serves 4" meal to serve 6 instead (leftovers make the greatest lunches!)
This article has some other great tips about portion control.
The chicken and dumplings I cooked tonight was perfectly healthy provided I didn't pig out on it. It was full of vegetables, lean chicken and homemade stock. The recipe says "serves 6" but I could easily have split it into 4 serves at the size I would normally eat. In fact, I might have even eaten that portion AND gone back for seconds! Suddenly, it's not looking so healthy any more. Tonight I made sure I had a "serves 6" portion and of course, I didn't go back for seconds. Was I full? No. But, was I hungry after finishing dinner? No! Smaller portions may not leave you feeling bursting full, but it actually doesn't take much food at all to leave us feeling satisfied. My problem is often just controlling how much food I put on my plate in the first place!
If you've reached the end of the exceptionally long blog post, well done!