If you want to drop a few dress sizes, the amount of calories you burn should be greater than what you consume. This means that you have to increase your physical activity and reduce your food consumption. Alas, it can be very challenging for most people to considerably reduce their portion sizes.

The fact is eating less food can be quite easy if you are armed with a few smart portion control tactics. Get started pronto by checking out the following tips that are unbelievably easy to do but nonetheless highly effective:

Chug a Glass of Water

Before sitting at the table, it’s a good idea to drink a glass of water. This is something that will make your tummy feel heavy, thus keeping you from eating more food than necessary. There are instances, too, wherein it’s hard to tell apart hunger from dehydration. If you’re simply dehydrated, the alleged hunger you are feeling will disappear a few minutes after guzzling down a tall glass of water.

Have Soup Beforehand

Prior to having the main course, consider slurping some soup first. Although following this tip may seem like it will add to your caloric intake, studies have shown that people who had soup as appetizer actually reduced their caloric intake by as much as 20%. It is a good idea to go for soup that is broth-based and has vegetables that take up a lot of precious stomach space, keeping you from having too much entrée.

Throw in More Veggies

Fill up to a half of your plate with vegetables. Because they are rich in fiber, they will surely make you feel satiated in no time, thus saving you from consuming a lot of fat- and calorie-rich foods. Fiber in vegetables not only helps you ward off overeating, but also help lower your risk of constipation, colon cancer and heart disease.

Opt for Blue Dinnerware

Aside from blueberries, what other blue-colored foods can you think of? None, perhaps. It’s exactly for this reason why your mind does not associate the said color to any appetizing food. Take advantage of this fact by using blue dinnerware to curb your appetite. Feel free to add blue food dye to home-cooked treats that you cannot seem to say no to. According to certain studies, the color blue could make people eat 33% less food.

Plan on Having a Second Serving

Before you hit the buffet table, tell yourself that you are going to have a second serving of everything, so it’s perfectly okay to put only a little food on your plate. Savor everything on your plate by eating them slowly. By the time that you’re done, you will be surprised to know that there is no need for a second serving as you already feel full.

Consume Everything Slowly

Speaking of eating slowly, it takes a while for your brain to realize that your stomach is already packed with food. This is the reason why you should make it a habit to eat slowly — to let you know exactly when you’re already satiated. In between bites, place your spoon and fork on the table and chew your food very well and slowly. It will also help to have the lights dimmed and soothing music playing in the background.

Drink Something Caffeinated

Several minutes before mealtime strikes, make yourself a cup of your favorite java. If you don’t like coffee, reach for a cup of tea instead. Caffeine in coffee and tea has mild appetite-suppressing properties, thus it can help you eat less. As a bonus, caffeine helps accelerate your metabolic rate so you burn more unwanted calories. Just remember to avoid a fancy serving of coffee or tea as it contains lots of sugar that can make you gain weight.

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