Summer is in full swing! We all worked hard to get ourselves in summer shape, but it’s difficult to maintain that beach body as our calendars fill with vacations, cookouts, and road trips.

Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to keeping fit, but what do we do when we’re away from home, treating ourselves, and straying from our normal routine? Portion control is the key!

Smart portions help not only during vacations and summer fun, they’re a great way to stay healthy year-round. Here are a few of my favorite portion control tips to reward hard work without feeling guilty:


1. Say yes to a box!

When dining out at a restaurant, ask for a box right away and put half of the portion into the container to take home for lunch leftovers. Nothing is better than yummy restaurant leftovers the next day at work!

2. Order (and start) with your healthy sides.

Tackling those veggies and salads first helps fill your tummy and cut back on those deliciously dangerous entrees.1

3. Sharing is caring.

Share some of your meal with your family or friends. It’s ok to have a bite of theirs, too. Just a bite!


Cookouts and Social Gatherings:

4. Don’t go overboard!

Limit yourself to one plate of food. It’s ok to have a little taste of everything, just keep the portions to a bite or two and just one plate.

5. Get social.

Instagram everything you eat…your followers may get jealous, but it will help you to realize how much you’re consuming and slow down between bites…

6. Savor it!

With all the delicious food to try, slow down and enjoy each bite. Rushing through a meal can lead to overeating before your stomach can tell your body that you’re full.

At Home:


7. Go small.

The size of your plate corresponds with how much food you’re most likely going to consume. Find some smaller dishes for everyday use for a psychological advantage.2

8. Skip the bag.

Eat snacks like chips or pretzels from a small bowl instead of straight out of a bag (and leave the bag in the pantry).


9. Snack smart.

Have a snack with protein like Greek yogurt in between meals instead of a candy bar for that extra protein to fill you up.

In the Office:

This is a hard one!

10. Containers!

Pack your lunch and use portion control containers. If food isn’t in front of you, you can’t eat it, right? Try leaving your wallet at home or only bringing enough cash for a small emergency snack.

11. Eat away from your desk.

Go outside and get some fresh air (if you can). It’s easy to lose focus on how much you’re eating when you are paying attention to email and reading amazing dairy blogs.3

One last PRO tip:

A glass of milk before a meal is ideal not only because it delivers nine essential nutrients, but it’s also more filling then a glass of water. By the way, an 8-oz. glass of skim milk is only 87 calories.

Read this blog by dietitian, Althea Zanecosky for some other last minute beach body tips.

Do you have a favorite portion control tip? I want to hear it! Leave me a comment below:

1. Food Network. Accessed July 13, 2017
2. Food & Brand Lab. Cornell University. Accessed July 13, 2017.
3. Shape. Accessed July 13, 2017