Cut 120 Calories Daily with Ziplock Bags

Cut 120 Calories Daily with Ziplock Bags

Is a box of plastic sandwich bags all you need to easily shave 120 calories from each day? Research suggests it may be so.

As long as you use those bags to divide up your snacks -- be they nuts, pretzels, crackers, or popcorn -- into small servings. About 100 calories per bag. In a recent study, people whose snacks came prepackaged in low-calorie portions ate about 120 fewer calories each day compared with folks who munched from larger packages.

Mini-Snack Strategy
More and more research has shown that when people are presented with large servings of food, they typically don't know when to say when. The larger the serving size offered, the more people tend to eat, going so far as to completely empty an overloaded plate or jumbo snack bag even though they'd feel satisfied with a smaller portion. So when you make an effort to eat less and slim down, keep in mind that it really starts with your serving spoon, not your dinner fork. (Here's another important way you can set the scene for self-control in the kitchen.)

Don't Supersize Me
Divvying up snacks into little bags is one strategy for controlling the munchies. You could also make it a habit of serving yourself snacks in a small bowl or on a plate rather than eating from the bag or the box. Measure out a reasonable portion, and leave the package or container in the kitchen. For chocolates, cookies, or candies, stick them in the freezer and thaw only one portion at a time. Better yet, you can put together a week's worth of your own healthful, homemade 100-calorie snacks. Try making these quick at-home snacks.

Watch this video for more tips on easy portion control.

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

More On Controlling Appetite

Boost Your Willpower with a Quick Squeeze

article

Boost Your Willpower with a Quick Squeeze
Next time you find yourself in front of a bakery window full of pastries, here's a little trick to help you say "no, thanks": Just make a fist, and sq...
How Can I Overcome Food Cravings If I'm Trying to Lose Weight?

video

How Can I Overcome Food Cravings If I'm Trying to Lose Weight?
Most people have some type of food craving, because we eat the wrong foods that set us up for hunger. In this video, functional medicine expert Mark H...
To Lose Weight, Treat Your Appetite to a Boring Menu

video

To Lose Weight, Treat Your Appetite to a Boring Menu
Here's a simple health tip to help you control your appetite: Eat the same menu over and over. There's a natural appetite-suppressing effect that come...
Daydream Your Food Cravings Away

video

Daydream Your Food Cravings Away
Want to quell your food cravings? Try daydreaming. Research now suggests that daydreaming is even betting at reducing temptation than distracting acti...