Ordering when you have a whole range of sizes or display cups as a reference is the easy part. The hard part of portion control is dishing up the proper amounts when you're at home with only your eyes—or that rusty set of measuring cups that you never use—to rely on. You can let the measuring cups rust in peace if you use these three easy tricks for keeping sizes, and calories, in check.
Downsize Your Dishes
Unless you’re eating off decades-old dishes, you probably have the newer, plus-size plates—the kind that cause your eyes to override your appetite. Give them to Goodwill, and pick up 10 ½-inch dinner plates, 8-inch salad plates, and 7-inch soup bowls, or a set that has pieces close to these sizes.
Be Small-minded About Snacks
In a recent experiment at the Cornell University food and brand lab, researchers gave study participants either a single bag containing 100 Wheat Thins or four smaller bags holding 25 Thins each, waited for the munching to subside, then did a cracker count. The tally: Those given the jumbo bag ate up to 20 percent more. Outsmart your snack habit by sticking with the tiny 100-calorie packs now being used for everything from Doritos to Goldfish. You can also try one of these low-cal snacks that keep you full.
Raise Your Glasses
Since even experienced bartenders pour more into short, wide glasses than they do into tall, narrow ones, you’ll need to be creative when you play mixmaster at home. Start by using highball glasses to replace the squat tumblers you use for scotch and brandy. Next, put away your pint beer glasses and buy the pilsner kind. Finally, if you own balloon wine glasses, switch them with regular wine glasses. Just watch the red: Cornell researchers found that people inadvertently pour more red wine than white into the same-size glass.