When it comes to eating healthy, how much you consume is just as important as what you consume. And if you’re judging your intake by eyeballing what’s on your plate, you’re probably racking up more calories per meal than you think.
“Most people tend to wildly underestimate their meal sizes, and that packs on the pounds over time, even if they eat nutritiously,” explains Angela Ginn, RD, a nutritionist in Maryland and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Also, we see such exaggerated servings at restaurants, it can really throw our perception out of whack.”
That’s where these genius gadgets come in. Each one relies on USDA portion-size guidelines to sneakily eliminate the guesswork, so you have more control over your food and drink choices and don’t have to worry about overdoing it at mealtime.
1. Portionware Dish Set
These cute, dishwasher-safe plastic totes, perfect for packing a work
lunch or a gym snack, are color-coded—with each bright hue representing a
different size, from a half-cup to two full cups. This makes it super
easy to measure out the exact portion size you want, and the airtight
containers keep food fresh too.
Price: $29.99 (five bowls and lids)
2. Precise Portions Glasses.
Liquid calories can sneak up on you fast, but not if you pour your
beverage into these drinking glasses. The discreet, decorative lines
etched on at the 4-, 6- and 8-ounce marks help you keep track of
precisely how much you’re sipping.
Price: $29.95 (four glasses)
3. Healthy Steps Serving Set
With a solid spoon for starches, a slotted spoon for vegetables, and a
spatula for proteins, each tool in this set holds enough food to equal
exactly one portion size. They’re a huge help when you’re serving family
meals or having a dinner party, letting everyone at the table know how
much they’re heaping on their plate.
Price: $13.99 (one set of three)
4. Healthy Steps Pasta Basket
This dishwasher-safe silicone basket measures one serving of any kind
of pasta, from macaroni to spaghetti. Attach it to the side of your
pot, so you can boil and then strain your pasta in the same perfectly
Price: $9.99 (one basket)
5. Slimware Dinner Plates
They resemble ordinary ceramic dinner plates, but those circle accents
aren’t just for decoration. Each represents a visual serving size for
different food groups. The largest section represents veggies, the next
largest protein, and the smallest is for carbs. It’s genius and stylish
(and microwave safe) at the same time.
Price: $59 (four plates)
6. Healthy Steps Dressing Lid
Salad dressing is typically high in fat and calories, so even a little
extra can throw off your healthy weight goal. Consider this lid your
salad-dressing safety net. It fits right over the container and
dispenses two-tablespoon increments at a time, the equivalent of one
serving. The lid also fits most condiment bottles, so you can use it
for tarter sauce and mayo too.
Price: $6 (one lid)
7. Nasco Food Cards
Keep this set of 100 plastic, compact cards in your purse or glove
compartment, and you’ll always have them on hand to decode tricky
restaurant portion-size dilemmas. Each features a popular food or menu
item, a life-size illustration of what one serving looks like, and
nutritional information such as calorie and fat counts.
Price: $27.50 (one set of 100 cards)