When it comes to losing weight and then keeping it off long-term, it all comes down to portion sizes. Sure, we may know that a restaurant meal out has a few more calories than we would usually enjoy at dinner, but an issue that we consider far less often is the insidious ways in which we eat extra calories numerous times throughout the day – a slightly larger slice of bread, an extra teaspoon or two of oil on the salad or simply eating from a larger plate just a few of the ways in which our portions tend to gradually increase over time, as does our weight.

The good news is that once you have a much clearer idea of what a portion of food should be it is relatively easy to cut back and ultimately it is a small number of cut backs spread over a range of food decisions that equates to weight control.

Tips for portion control:

1. Always measure breakfast cereal and rice/pasta serves using a measuring cup.

2. Keep kitchen scales handy to check meat portions and serving sizes.

3. Measure out sauces and oils rather than pouring haphazardly.

4. Purposely look for small slices of bread when shopping.

5. Use grated cheese or invest in a cheese slice to control portions.

6. Measure out serves of dip and cheese when serving platters.

7. Only carry portion controlled snacks of nuts and crackers.

9. Serve desserts and treats in small bowls and glasses.

10. Always order a small or piccolo sized coffee.

One of the most important concepts to grasp if your goal is to lose weight and keep it off is moderation. A one off dessert or chocolate bar will not result in weight gain, but repeatedly eating more calories on a daily basis from larger portion sizes than you need will. For this reason, keeping constantly mindful of how much you are eating, and whether you really need this much is a crucial thing to keep at the forefront of your mind if your goal is weight control.

Written by Susie Burrell, first appeared on Shape me.

Related links:

Detox verus diet: Which one is best?

The low carb diet for irritable bowel

5 healthy foods that can make you hungrier

This article was written in partnership with Over60.

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