Controlling the food that fuels your body can be just as important as the physical efforts that tone and tighten your muscles. Whether you’re bulking up on protein or focusing on a low carb diet, portion size can make a big difference. If you find that you tend to overeat rather than stick to your ideal meal size, follow these simple portion control tips for mastering your meal-prepping process.

Plan ahead at home

It’s so much easier to stay in control when you have your scales, measuring equipment and fresh ingredients all waiting for you at home. Knowing what you’re going to eat for every meal will take a lot of temptation away, so plan ahead and pack healthy snacks for the road. If you do eat out with friends, consider ordering an entrée size, sharing a meal or eating half and taking the rest home for tomorrow.

Prep meals once a week

If you find you don’t have the energy to cook after an intense workout, it often pays to prep meals all at once. Every Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you might spend a few hours shopping, cooking and dividing up super healthy meals for the week ahead. It will be a cinch to pull out a tasty meal from the freezer or fridge each time and enjoy your food without feeling that you’re overindulging.

Standardise some measuring tools

If you know your ladle measures ¾ of a cup, this will make measuring out your pre-prepped meals a whole lot easier. In the same way, it can be worth investing in just the right size of reusable container for pre-prepared lunches or dinners. If it helps, you can even buy entire dinner sets with portions marked on the plate in subtle designs that don’t look anything like portion indicators.

Use a smaller plate

A smaller plate makes your meal look larger and one study found that it can help to reduce portion sizes. It may not work for everyone, but if you find it all too easy to fill your plate up consider restricting the size of your plate. If you’re snacking on berries, nuts or something sweet, avoid eating straight from the packet by placing a single serving size into a dip bowl or saucer so you can enjoy it guilt-free.

Individualise your portions

If you live with a partner or spouse it can be all too easy to serve up identical meal sizes, but this could result in either of you eating far too much or too little. Take the time to measure out your individual serves, and use labelled containers if you’re prepping meals at the beginning of the week.

With a few easy tips and techniques, it can be easy to master your portion sizes and enjoy every mouthful on your way to your fitness goals!