Have you been eating healthier food but still don’t notice any drastic change in your weight? Maybe you’ve skipped dinner for weeks, but you’re not getting the results you want. While the problem could be anything from lack of exercise to high sugar intake, there’s one factor that is worth scrutinizing above all: portions.

Portion size matters, especially if you want a slimmer and healthier body. Nowadays, many people are unaware of how much they’re overeating, especially when dining out. Observe how much food is on your plate the next time you eat in family restaurants. The portions might be satiating and “just right” for your taste, but often these portions are made for two people, not one. This means that a single meal out–and even at home if you’re not careful–can make you exceed the total calorie intake you need for an entire day. Shocking? Yes. True? Definitely. This is why, if you want to lose weight and to lose it for good, one change you have to commit to is portion control.

Don’t worry; if you’re not fond of calorie counting and measuring your food, there are far simpler ways to ensure that you’re not overeating.

Smaller Plates, Please

It’s a simple mind trick, but one you might be falling for each time. Experiments have proven time and again that the larger your dinnerware, the larger the portions you eat. You often don’t have time to rationalize this, and even when you promise to be mindful, it’s just more challenging when you see all that empty space on your plate. Also, the food ends up looking smaller than it is, which cues your brain that you still have plenty of room left in your stomach to fill.

This is the reason using smaller dinnerware remains one of the most effective ways to control your portions. Smaller plates, bowls, and glasses make you think you’re eating more simply because these containers are full.

Make eating the right portions easy by starting off with this change. Set aside your current dinnerware or give them away to your family. Using smaller ones will make eating less more natural and satiating.

Handle Those Portions

You’ve probably heard this one before, but should you believe it? Absolutely! You can ask the best weight loss physician, and you’ll get the same answer. Using your hands as a portion guide is helpful because their size is congruous with the size of your body. Also, it spares you embarrassing feats like taking out measuring cups while dining out.

The most important things you need to know are the size of vegetables, salads, high-protein food, high-carb food, and high-fat food. Men can go for two fist-sized servings for vegetables and salads, while women should opt for just one. Beans, poultry, meat, and fish require one palm-sized portion for women and double for men. Cup one hand, and you get the amount of whole grain you should eat. Two cupped hands for men, as usual. What about high-fat food like butter, nuts, and oils? A thumb-sized portion is enough for women, and again, twice for men. Hopefully, this makes measuring your food easier the next time around.

Cut It in Half

When eating out, you should practice caution because you’ll undoubtedly be served larger portions than what is good for you. Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks you can rely on. First is to ask for only half the usual serving. If you’re too shy to do this, then share your meal or intentionally leave half of your food untouched. Ask for it to be wrapped for take-out. Not only are you cutting calories, but you’re also cutting costs without depriving yourself. Just make sure to spread it out into two more meals for the next day, if possible, or else you would’ve lost its purpose.

Transfer That Food

It’s not only restaurant servings that you have to watch out for. Containers are also made for two to five servings at least. This makes it a wrong choice to eat food from its original container, as you’re often tempted to empty the entire box in one sitting.

The solution is to make a habit of transferring food to your smaller dinnerware before you eat it. Such a simple act can make you think twice about overindulging.

Small Changes, Big Effects

These small changes can amount to significant effects on your goal to lose weight. However, consider visiting a weight loss doctor if you’ve ticked everything on the checklist and are still struggling. Getting professional feedback regarding your weight and health, in general, can lead to the breakthroughs you’ve been looking for.