My weekends are usually full of experiments in the kitchen and cooking for my family and friends. I usually set aside a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to make a big, comforting meal for us all to enjoy, like authentic Indian food (which I recently learned takes hours to make) or enchiladas with every single ingredient made from scratch. I'll also make a healthy, decadent vegan dessert, like matcha cheesecake or bourbon maple pie.
I'll admit it: it's hard not to overeat when you've got so much amazing food in front of you all weekend. For a while I found it almost impossible not to stuff my face with whatever was lying around. But that left me feeling bloated and sluggish on Monday morning — and it took away from the joy and magic that comes to me when I cook for a large group of people.
A couple months ago, I started a new habit in the kitchen that has helped me keep my portions at a reasonable size: I never pick on food straight from the pan or pot anymore; instead, I portion out my food onto a plate before picking up my fork or chopsticks. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's easier said than done when you're the one in the kitchen, cooking for hours with all this tasty food at your fingertips.
If I need to taste the food as I'm cooking it to see if I need to adjust seasonings, I just elicit my husband's help, which he gladly lends. This allows me to keep an empty stomach until dinner is on the table, and then I can enjoy the already portioned food in front of me.
The same goes for dessert. Even if it's just my husband and me at home, I make sure we don't just stick our forks into the pie plate and eat mindlessly while watching TV. I cut out appropriate pieces of cheesecake for both of us, put them on separate plates, and set them down with a fork. It's simple, but so effective! Now I'm able to enjoy my weekend cooking bonanzas without worrying about overeating or feeling bloated.