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Reducing portion size

Some special recipes are best left alone, even if they do contain a lot of sugar or fat. In some cases, attempting to make a recipe healthier will yield a disappointing finished product. One of my friends found this out when she substituted light butter for regular butter when making her pecan dainty cookies. Using the light butter resulted in cookies without the desired texture and flavor. In other cases, particularly when preparing family favorites, the social pressure to make the dish “the way we always made it” may be high.

But there are still ways to avoid overeating such dishes if and when you decide to make them. One way is to reduce your portion size. For example, if your cheesy potato recipe gives the serving size as 1 cup, you can reduce your serving to 1/2 cup. That would cut the calories in half without changing the flavor and texture. If having left-over cheesy potatoes sitting in the refrigerator is too tempting, make only one serving per person, so you finish the dish at one meal.

Another option, which works well at holiday times, is to send the leftovers home with your guests. You can also share special desserts with your neighbors or coworkers. They will enjoy the treat, and you won’t be faced with half a cake or a bag of cookies enticing you to eat them.

Originally Published February 28, 2011

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