How to Control Portions When Increasing Activity Level

April 22, 2013 | Jessica Crandall

Must See Nutrition Videos

Transitioning from the off-season to in-season can be particularly difficult for athletes trying to lose weight or tone up. Even a slight increase in physical activity can cause athletes to eat larger portions at meal time. (Check out the STACK workout page for fitness inspiration.)

This tendency can quickly negate all of the hard work you did in the off-season. Although you're burning calories during conditioning, they can easily be put back (and more) in one extended table sitting. Refueling your body after a workout is important. But rather than loading up on unnecessary calories, reach for nutrient-dense foods instead of calorically-dense ones. The former help control your appetite and prevent you from going back for seconds. Smaller portions of nutritious foods will tide you over for longer periods of time, while providing you with the fuel you need to sustain your workout routines.

Take charge of your portions in order to prevent overeating, and get the most out of your meals.

Portion Control Tips

Large portion sizes and lack of self-control have been long-standing barriers to achieving physical performance goals. We know all too well about portion distortion and super-sized meals. They have crept in to our everyday existence. So how can we keep tabs on how much we are consuming when we are working towards a specific goal or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

Become familiar with serving sizes

At home, use measuring cups when portioning out your food. This will help you get an idea of how much you are actually consuming and allow you to recognize the times when you may be doubling down. (Use common sports equipment to measure: Learn Portion Control.)

Use smaller plates and glasses

Giant plates and drinking glasses have tricked us into thinking that the amounts we are eating and drinking are appropriate. Try eating from a smaller plate, around nine inches in diameter instead of 12. Drink higher-calorie beverages from a smaller glass.

Avoid eating foods straight from the bag or container

When we don't keep a mindful eye on what we are ingesting, it's hard to pinpoint how much we are taking in. Pre-portioning our snacks and meals before digging in can help us avoid unconsciously overeating in the long run.

Check in with a registered dietitian

This can be beneficial to your health and help you reach your health-related goals. An RD can assist with meal planning, suggest exercise-fueling foods, offer a nutrition prescription that is right for your individual needs, and much more. Sometimes a little guidance can be beneficial to your health beyond belief.

Photo: managemylife.com

Jessica Crandall
- Jessica Crandall is the general manager of Denver Wellness and Nutrition Center-Sodexo, where she supervises a team of six dietitians who focus on fulfilling the...
Jessica Crandall
- Jessica Crandall is the general manager of Denver Wellness and Nutrition Center-Sodexo, where she supervises a team of six dietitians who focus on fulfilling the...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 153,019
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,502
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,270,518
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,626,320
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,170,372
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,683
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,256
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,395

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

The Boston Cannons' ‘Keep It Real’ Eating Plan

The Boston Cannons' 'Keep It Real' Eating Plan

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

YardBarker