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Maintaining a healthy body weight requires a commitment to eating right, which includes eating the right foods and the right portion sizes! Practicing portion control can be tricky (especially when your favorite food is put before you!), but with these tips you can outsmart serving sizes and maintain a healthy weight:

Slow down: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re “full.” Eating slowly  (try to chew each bite about 10 times) gives your brain time to send out the “I’m full!” signal before you’ve consumed more than you need to.

Know proper portion sizes: Knowing how much of each type of food you should be eating helps you make smarter eating choices. That big bowl of pasta at the restaurant is probably more than the 1 cup (the size of a baseball) portion size that is recommended. WebMD offers a great Portion Size Plate guide that gives you easy-to-understand guidelines for healthy eating.

Fill up on foods that help you feel fuller longer: Carbohydrates and fats are quickly digested, which means you may be tempted to eat more at your next meal or grab a snack later on. Studies suggest that protein appears to help prolong satiety (feeling of fullness) more than carbohydrates or fat can, making it easier for you to stick to recommended portion sizes throughout the day because you feel full and satisfied.

Don’t eat out of the package: Read the nutrition label to see how many calories are in one serving size of those chips or cookies. Once you determine what size portion will fit into your caloric needs for the day, place that portion on a plate or in a portable sandwich bag. This way you won’t be tempted to go back in for just one more.

For more information on how high quality protein, such as whey protein, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, visit the Weight Management and Whey Protein section of WheyOfLife.org.

Whey Protein Institute is your resource for factual information regarding the health and nutrition benefits of whey protein. Whey protein is a high quality protein naturally deriving from milk. Whey protein is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs and is easy to digest. Whey protein is also one of the best sources of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA).