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Conquer common pitfalls with these right-sizing tips

Photo: Randy Mayor

PORTION PROBLEM: "I really like orange juice with my breakfast, but I end up pouring too much." THE SOLUTION: Even wholesome drinks like milk and orange juice need portion control from time to time. They may pack vitamins and minerals, but they come with a big dose of calories and sugar, too. The best portion-control tip is the easiest: Use your juice glasses. These cute, petite glasses typically hold 8 ounces, so filling half the glass will get you close to a 4-ounce serving. A coffee cup can work, too. Most hold between 6 and 8 ounces.

PORTION PROBLEM: "I measure a 2-ounce portion of dry pasta, but it just looks small in my bowl when it's cooked. I always go back for more." THE SOLUTION: Trick your eye and bulk up your pasta or whole grains with peppers, mushrooms, peas, and other vegetables that help you fill up quickly. Or use bigger noodles, like medium- or large-sized shells. You'll still be eating the smaller amount, but you'll be tricking your eye—and your belly—this way.

PORTION PROBLEM: "I have a heavy hand with the salad dressing." THE SOLUTION: Ever notice when you pour salad dressing, it slips between lettuce leaves and pools at the bottom of your bowl? Before you know it, you've taken your otherwise-healthy salad into a diet danger zone. Add your salad dressing to your bowl first. That way you can see how much you're pouring. Then add lettuce and toppings. Stir and toss really well to get each leaf coated. You'll get the flavor of the dressing with each bite, but you won't be tempted to overpour.