Slim Tip: My Summer Slim Secret

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Every so often, I discover a new diet tip that helps me stick to a fit and healthy lifestyle. I like to think that these diet tips build on each other, but sometimes I really find myself sticking to one for a while and then moving onto the next. Anyway, my newest slim secret this summer is all about portion control. I really enjoy the taste of healthy food—salads, whole grains, lean meats, and good fats. And I have come to realize that I can pretty much order what I want at a restaurant as long as I keep my portions in check. If I want a few sweet potato fries to go along with my grilled chicken salad at lunch, I will get them! But I make sure that I’m aware of how many I am eating. My biggest challenge isn’t what I eat, but rather how much of it I eat. Since I’ve come to realize this, it’s been easier for me to tap into my weakness and control it. Hence, learning to control my portions.

A great way to follow through with this trick is ordering an entree to split with your bestie instead of each ordering your own. This way you won’t have a large pile of food sitting in front you, and you won’t be temped to clean your entire plate. I’ve also found that eating on smaller plates helps to trick my mind into thinking I’m eating more than I am. And a boyfriend comes in handy too! If you’re dining out with your beau, eat the portion that is right for you and then pass your plate over to your guy. Chances are he will clean your plate for you before you fall victim to overeating.

Whenever I start to feel full, I give myself 10 to 15 minutes to let my fullness really sink in. I can clear my mind by striking up a conversation at the table, or if I’m eating by myself, taking a quick lap around the house. If I’m still feeling hungry 10 minutes later, I know that I can eat a little bit more without getting stuffed. And that’s my little slim secret du jour!

Do you have a tip that helps you to slim down during bikini season?

What’s the biggest diet challenge you face? (Portion control is mine!)

Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below.

XO Lauren

Photo: Marie Claire
Categories: Get Fit, Health, Shape Up
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  • jiturka

    Portion control is a good way, but complementary is to think WHEN you are eating. It is important not to feel hungry, thus eating every 2.5–3.5 hours, and planning your meals. True story :-)

  • Kat

    I would definitely have to say my sweet tooth is what gets me every time! Portion control helps with that too though. If I am craving some chocolate I eat a few squares so I can kill the craving without over-doing it :)

  • Anna Lemcke

    I always fall victim to over eating. I like the idea of using a smaller plate.

  • Ashley Rizzardo

    This is really helpful. I have been practicing portion control since New Years (one of those resolutions that have stuck!)

    Ashley
    http://allthatglitters.co.nr

  • eliseElise dagenais guertin

    Hi! I do do that :) I try to eat slower too to let my body process the foods that I eat. It helped me a lot with portions. Thanks :) xox

  • BoilerLeah

    I agree that portion control is a prevailing problem with American diets these days but I have to disagree that it’s ok to push your food to your boyfriend. They probably shouldn’t be eating more than their own meal anyways. If I’m at a restaurant with huge dishes, I order a to-go box when my meal comes so that I can create the proper portion to eat there, and then take the rest home for other meals. I find this also saves money too because you are making your meals stretch further.

  • suzanne

    I don’t really have any rules when it comes to eating. I do eat more delicious fruits and drink more water, because of the warmer temperatures :)
    xoxo
    Suzanne from http://www.writtenbysuzanne.com

  • Angie Hogge

    Portion control is my problem too ugh! Even healthy foods can do you in if you eat too much of it! I have been using the smaller plate tip for awhile and it works. I have little ones at home and when they were done eating and I was tired it was easy to pick up where they left off since we are taught ourselves to clean our plates. When my husband and i eat dinner out we always share an entree since he wants to shape up too. But since I have committed to eating healthy (and following your bikini bootcamp plan) I have kept the pounds at bay. Since spring I’ve lost 10 pounds and I’ll be darned if I let it back on!

  • Megan R.

    I am a huge fan of portion control! Another thing that I will do is to balance out my meal. If I want to have a wedge of brie (my guilty pleasure) then I will balance that with lots of fruits and a nice salad first so I won’t eat the entire wedge of cheese. Filling up on fruits and veggies first helps curb any overindulging later.

    xo
    Megan
    http://thepreppyplanner.weebly.com/

  • Emma Yoder

    My slim secret is doing 50-100 bicycle crunches a night. After about 1 week i already started to feel much thinner. It doesn’t have to be intensive, just enough to give you that “”ab-burn””. Hope this helps!

  • JD

    OMG I totally live by this and have lost over 40 pounds by working out and on top of that portion control!! It works trust me you don’t realize how much you overeat (also, the additional calories)! It’s hard at first to adjust to this but ever since I started this new diet/lifestyle I feel great about myself and body. I can control my urges to not finish my plate at restaurants or family gatherings and I’m confident enough to trust myself when its self-serve that I will just have small portions! Try it everyone!! Portion control is the best and healthy way to go!! You can indulge in whatever you want as long as you watch your portions. My motto is “”I can have the rest for leftovers””

  • Heather Lloyd

    I find having a lighter calorie day every other day helps, it seems to keep my motabolism going and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything because you know you can have something nice to eat/drink the follwing day.

  • Emma Acomb

    My biggest diet challenge is snacking. Especially later in the day it’s harder for me to pick a healthier snack! So I made little pieces of paper with healthy snacks written on them (like apples and peanut butter or carrots and ranch) and pull one out when I need a snack!

  • Kelby Peachey

    I love this tip! I’m really good at eating healthy, but I think I’m noticing that my portions are out of control. Thanks for the lovely tips!

    -Kelby
    http://peachypains.com

  • Megan Elliott

    I use these techniques too! It definitely helps. I love being able to eat what I want, I just watch how much of it I eat!

    xo Megan, http://lushtoblush.com/

  • Maddy Smith

    I’ve found that by eating slower and having smaller proportions that I am able to get fuller faster! I also make sure my meat and carbs are smaller than my fruits and veges! I have this problem too and proportion control is just what I need, as first it’s a bit difficult, but after a few days eating slower and better proportions really helped me and I felt a huge change! Thanks Lauren, you’re my idol!

  • Ashley

    Portion control.. that can be such a tough one! I started using a calorie counting app (my fitness pal) almost a year ago. I used to teach myself what a proper portion looks like and to decide about how much I should be eating daily. The website lets you set goals for protein, fiber, and carb consumption among other things. It’s important to remember to take in more food (and the right kind, usually protein or carbs) on days you work out too! I have since stopped using the app and I think I’m doing well without it, now that it has taught me what I needed to know. :) http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    I totally agree with ordering an entree and sharing it with the person you are with.. Great tips Lauren :)

    xo,
    http://sincerelymissashley.blogspot.ca

  • Abigail Clemmer

    Love your swimsuit!

  • Darcy

    I bought a food scale to have at home and it’s the best way for me to monitor my portions!!

  • Sarah @ Sequin Doll

    I think this is the biggest problem that a lot of people have! All the restaurants have such big portions that should really split up to be 2 or 3 meals. If you don’t finish your meal that just means you get to enjoy the leftovers the next day. I like to look at it as two meals for the price of one :)

    http://www.sequindoll.com

  • Bridgette

    The 10 minute wait is such a good idea! It totally works!

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  • Ana Sofia

    The tip of waiting 10 to 15 minutes is amazing and eating in a small plate too! These tips are simple so I definitely gonna try :)

    Xoxo,
    http://mmthanwords.blogspot.pt/

  • Sarah Fagan

    Good tips! I’m all about portion control. The only thing I disagree with is pushing your leftovers to your boyfriend since my boyfriend is trying to use portion control to stay healthy as well!

  • Ashlee

    I think mine is over indulging. Like I can do pretty well with my portion control when I want to be, but when I see food that I absolutely love, I over stuff myself :( and then I feel all guilty and stuffed afterwards.

  • kate

    drinking a ton of water!

  • happily_blue

    My best tip would be eating slowly. Eating slowly allows you to break down your food further so your metabolism can have an easier time processing it. Also, eating slow activates the part of your brain where it lets you know when youre starting to get full, therefore it also helps prevent overeating. The best part about eating a bit slower is that you get to truly savor your food! This tip has helped me maintain my weight over the years and I have learned to keep my portions in check, which is what this article is EXACTLY about. In this culture we have conditioned ourselves to live a speedier life, but food shouldnt be one of them, we should enjoy it! Thanks for reading and I hope my tip helps :)

  • Alicia k

    My biggest diet challenge is work luncheons/bring food to work days. There is always so much to snack on and the best part, it’s free :) So I tend to snack more and eat more at the luncheons than I normally would and it seems lately that we have been doing these alot more. I just have to find a good portion to eat and then be done.

  • Taanjaa

    Great tip! I think a lot of people (including myself) eats to much and that’s the problem!

    http://tanjamortensen.com/

  • nicolemariax

    This is really helpful because I face a challenge with my portion sizes too! But my biggest challenge is that I ALWAYS have a sweet-tooth! It’s so hard NOT to eat a piece of chocolate or more during the day!

  • Casey Zack

    I loved those tips! Especially about letting your boyfriend eat your leftovers! Haha. A tip i do us if i really want something like a bowl of icecream later, ill eat a light dinner like a salad. Take time to really enjoy your sweets. Eat till your satisfied, not till its all scarfed down because thats when you can over indulge :)

  • Raven Locks

    Oh man…portion control is really important. I always feel so sluggish after I overeat. Your bathing suit in the picture is super cute, btw!

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  • thathcok

    I use an app on my cell phone to keep me on track. My coach has me on a Macro Nutrient based diet: Grams of Protein, Carbs and Fat. I get a certain amount everyday and as long as I stick to those amounts I can eat what I’m craving. MyMacros+ is so helpful and user friendly it is easy to forget I am actually tracking food intake.

  • Jessica Smith

    This is what I have been working on lately! It’s helped sooo much. I’m losing so much weight in no time, not by doing a crazy diet but just trying to eat healthy and when I don’t, I eat a very small portion. :) I love your tips, keep them coming!

  • Leanne

    Love the need for a beau. Mine will clear any plate!

    Love from South Africa

    http://arumlilea.blogspot.com

  • Lenka

    Instead of sharing with a friend, I ask for a to-go box right away with my meal and put half of my meal in there before I even start eating. That way, I can control the portions and get two meals out of one!

  • Meagan Lowry

    water! drink a full glass of water before eating a meal or snack.. youll find yourself feeling full after half of what you usually would!

  • Nienke Borgman

    What always helps me is taking time for the food I eat. Really just focuss on the taste, smell etc. I eat way less when I do that!

  • jam84

    I stick to eating a small breakfast (a piece of fruit or granola bar) and salad every day for lunch (with some sort of oil/vinegar combo to dress), but I eat whatever I want for dinner, which is usually still a very healthy choice!

  • photosbyjaana

    I’m definitely a big believer in portion control. I’m no skinny minnie, but the times I’ve kept myself at a good, steady weight, it all came down to portion control and calorie consumption. great tip!
    http://www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

  • Tanisha

    i make sure that i watch my portions. dont eat when im bored and drink a lot of water.

  • Mariela ba

    I think portions really make a difference…I’ve tried to lose weight since Dec. and the results weren’t showing ’till I realize that a salad doesn’t need to fit a big plate… or that I have to eat an entire chicken breast (grilled)… since I start reading your posts via Pinterest I realize of my huge mistake and I’ve seen results right away!

  • Mariella

    I can eat everything..but I think that my challenge is portion control to!! great tips!

  • Mandy Gladden

    Yes portion control is huge! That’s what I’ve been doing, along with a low carb diet and exercise. :)

    xoxo,
    Mandy
    http://www.lifesongsofabusymom.com
    http://www.facebook.com/lifesongsofabusymom

  • Harmony

    My secret is salad only allowed at dinner. My larger meal is eaten at lunch. Dessert is a rice cake and a small piece of fruit with a large glass of water. Then I am full and feel like I had something sweet. A trick my Mother-In Law taught me is to brush your teeth right after dinner then you do not want to eat again.

  • Deanne Castro

    Portion sizes are a huge impact! A little goes a long way!

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  • LaurenConrad.com

    Great job on sticking to your resolution, Ashley!

  • LaurenConrad.com

    That’s a great way to look at those large restaurant entrees!

  • LaurenConrad.com

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Dana Ivy

    I know it seems so easy but why is it soo damn hard?!?!

    Xo
    Dana Ivy
    http://www.iadorewhatilove.com – Check out my blog!!

  • Rachele

    portion control is big! And while I do love eating healthy and avoiding certain kinds of foods, I do have the urge indulge from time to time. Which are the times I will these tips on cutting portions in mind! And sweet potato fries are the BEST!

  • Rachele

    portion control is big! And while I do love eating healthy and avoiding certain kinds of foods, I do have the urge indulge from time to time. Which are the times I will keep these tips on cutting portions in mind! And sweet potato fries are the BEST

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  • k a s e y ~ <3

    My Slim Tip ~
    Drink one full glass of water before and after every meal. This ensures you won’t fill up of food because one you will have already had water and two you need to save some room for even more water. Not only will you slim down but if you stick to this you will notice a complete change in you skin and energy levels. :)

  • Jamiharmony

    Everyone has great tips that I totally agree with! But my newest rule now that I am living on my own and paying for my own groceries: snacks/cookies/ice cream/chocolate OR alcohol (usually wine) when I shop. I know I won’t sit down and finish it by myself in one sitting like I always do with a bag of cookies, and I’m more likely to find a friend to share it with instead of moping which is great since I’m at risk of being very lonely in a new city! It also saves me money since my budget is tight. :)

    Also: buy your fruits and veggies in as close to bulk as possible. Skip the pasta. Buy it singularly when you really need it for an occasion. It’s far too easy to default to pasta for dinner some nights.

  • Jamiharmony

    Everyone has great tips that I totally agree with! But my newest rule now that I am living on my own and paying for my own groceries: snacks/cookies/ice cream/chocolate OR alcohol (usually wine). In most cases I pick the wine because I know I won’t sit down and finish it by myself in one sitting like I always do with a bag of cookies, and I’m more likely to find a friend to share it with instead of moping which is great since I’m at risk of being very lonely in a new city! It also saves me money since my budget is tight. :) And if I REALLY crave a treat, I just go out to the bakery and get one, singular.

    Also: buy your fruits and veggies in as close to bulk as possible. Skip the pasta. Buy it singularly when you really need it for an occasion. It’s far too easy to default to pasta for dinner some nights.

  • katliz

    I always heard that you should drink a glass of water before you eat. Even when you feel yourself craving a snack, drink water and see if you are still hungry. Most times, we confuse hunger for thirst. I know I have a HUGE snacking problem so I like to switch up types of waters that I drink so I can satisfy my taste buds, but I don’t end up overeating as well.

  • Savvy

    It’s true: Portion control works! My uncle recently lost a lot of weight by just controlling his portions. It’s a great tip, because you can still eat some junk food, just less. Thanks, Lauren!

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  • Michelle Elford

    I love leftovers (and not having to pack lunches!) so I always try to leave enough for lunch the next day if I’m out for dinner and get it packed up. I don’t have to feel guilty that it’s going to waste if I don’t eat it, and I don’t eat too much!!

  • Gabriela Lamas

    My secret is portion control too!
    Before this summer I thought I had control of my portions but I wasnt loosing any weight…only toning because of my workouts and eating healthy. This summer I started to make my portion size a little smaller (Still eating enough!) I became more aware of what my body needed to keep going until the next meal.

    As soon as I made this change…the weight literally just fell off with in two months. AND I still get to eat my favorite foods just not all the time and in small portions!

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  • jessmac

    Another tip that I try to follow when eating out is to ask for a to-go box right when the waiter brings out the food so I can put half of it in the box before I start eating. This is helpful when I know I’ll get tempted to finish off the whole plate even if I get full.

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  • RachelRadschlag

    yeah, i definitely do the hand over to the boyfriend trick :) he’s definitely happy with it, and it keeps my portion control in check!

  • Princess Kate

    This is awesome advice :) moving into my first apt and wondering how I am going to budget my food. I think my biggest problem will be going to meals with friends. It’s so fun to meet up for brunch, dinner or drinks! Any suggestions on how to keep those calories (and expenses) in check??

  • Jamiharmony

    This is what I’ve learned so far:
    1. Eat less meat. I’m veg, and it’s amazing how much less I spend than my roommate because I buy an eggplant when she buys chicken.
    2. Freeze loaves of bread. I forget I have it because it’s hidden, and I don’t feel rushed to eat it all in the summer heat before it goes bad, or WORSE, have to throw away half the loaf just because I exercise will power.
    3. Stuck between two items on the menu for dinner? Pick the cheaper one. Or go for an app.
    4. Learn to love tonic/seltzer if you do mixed drinks. My go-to used to be whiskey and soda. Now it’s soda WATER.
    5. Go to a place where you can also go dancing or one of those places where you drink and paint or something. You’ll drink less because you have something else to do, have more fun and either learn to do something or burn calories. ;)

  • Princess Kate

    Great advice!!! Thanks!!!

  • Brandy Lee

    I’m a big fan of smoothies or jucing! I love mixing up fresh fruits and veggies with some almond milk for a great morning smoothie, or throwing together a healthy fresh juice blend! This morning I had a dragon fruit, blueberry, frozen banana smoothie with almond milk and some soy protein/vitamin powder for my post run refuel. It’s a great way to get in those servings of fruits and veggies and there are so many possibilities!

  • amira MOUSSAOUI

    I do the same! whether for small portions or the boyfriend trick, and also drink a lot of clear green tea ;)

  • kalamityray

    Great tips! I’ve started packing my lunch for work,and not only am I saving somewhere in the range of $100 to $150 a month, I’m down a few lbs and feeling soooo much better these days. Keep the great advice coming! http://makeyourhairgrowfaster.net/

  • arhaun88

    I have a hard time with sugar!!! I do not drink soda anymore, so I turned to tea, water, juice, and milk. I find myself consuming alot of sugar. Coffee is my drug, and sugar and milk has to go in. Which I smoke to so that’s not good, and I have to have something with flavor when I smoke. Really would like to quit but with a husband, 4 kids, 3 in school, work 6 straight days a week, plus college no wonder. I exercise 4 times a week, and try to eat healthy which is hard on a budget, and children in the mix. Any suggestions for me would be appreciated.

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  • Lauren Perry

    Cut the sugar out of your coffee and tea – you’ll get used to it. It takes a little while but it’s worth it!

  • Jennifer

    My tip that has worked for me is not cutting myself off from anything in perticular just like you! by just doing portion control and if i do splurge i try and make up for it by working out a little extra that day or having an extra few glasses of water and trying not to splurge next time but i definitely know not to skip a meal just becasue i splurged that will not help at all!

  • Jennifer

    i totally agree on the packing lunches, i used to eat out everyday and it wasnt healthy on me or my wallet so now i eat out just once a week and i have lost weight and been putting the money ive saved in a jar instead and am gonna save it for a rainy day!

  • Jennifer

    that sounds so good! i wish i could get into the almond milk but for some reason i just cant do it! maybe if i tried it in a smoothie or something it will help but i am definitely gonna try that smoothie recipe it sounds amazing!

  • Jennifer

    that is a really good idea and i never would have thought of that thanks for the tip!

  • Sharlene

    I am 5’5″” and currently weight around 125. Trying so hard to get to 115. It seems like it is not making any progress. I wonder if any of you know what to do when the weight just stays stagnant.

  • eva kalenska

    counting calories. i have them all mixed up and by the end of the day i cannot really say if i overdid it or not :/

  • sazinator

    Have your tried high impact workouts? My weight was stagnant at 115-120 for years (I’m 5 feet tall) I started high impact training and added to my regular 6 day a week palates and medium cardio workout and I dropped to 110 in 2 months! Portion control is my new challenge for toning because weight isn’t my agenda anymore. But when it was that’s what I did.

  • shellski6

    Give up the smoking. I used so many excuses for 12 years, but all they are is exactly that, excuses – kids work university etc etc. my tip for never smoking again – Allan Carr’s book Easy way to quit smoking’! If you don’t succeed you’ve only read a book. Don’t be scared to give up smoking, you can do it, and as a person who has now quit for 6 months I can personally say that you will never look back and wonder why it’s taken so long to do exactly that, quit!

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