How To Lose Weight With Portion Control

No matter how you spin it, there are only two proven ways to lose weight naturally: diet and exercise. When it comes to diet, you can move the number on the scale by tackling it from two angles: eating healthier and eating less. Today we’re talking portion control.

Portion control doesn’t mean restricting yourself to depressingly tiny bites of food. It does mean eating only as much as you need to feel full and stopping before you overdo it. It’s also important to understand what a proper serving size actually looks like. Americans are notorious for their “supersize me” portions!

A number of scientific studies have found that when people are provided with more food, they eat it. On the converse, when they’re given pre-portioned meals over an extended period of time, they lose more weight than those who eat freely. Use these 5 portion control tips to lose weight the natural way, giving your body the nutrients it needs in healthy amounts.

1. Learn what a “real” portion looks like.

Portion control begins with shifting your outlook on what a “normal” serving size looks like. Since ‘one cup’ or ‘three ounces’ is tricky to visualize, we like to compare serving sizes to everyday objects.

One serving of meat or poultry = one deck of cards
One serving of fish = a checkbook
One serving of pasta or cereal = a tennis ball
One serving of fruit = a fist
One serving of veggies = an ice cream scoop
One serving of cheese = a 9-volt battery

Source: Cleveland Clinic

You can see how easy it is to eat far more than a portion, especially at a restaurant. A 12-ounce steak is actually three to four servings of red meat! For a week’s work of healthy meal ideas, try our 7-day portion control menu.

2. Use a small plate.

Smaller plates naturally lead to smaller portions. Save the dinner plates for an actual dinner party and eat off salad plates when you’re dining on an everyday basis.

3. Start smaller instead of larger.

When you’re an adult striving for a healthy weight, the old adage to ‘clean your plate’ can go out the window. Rather than filling your plate completely and finishing it all, start with less food on the plate.

When you’ve finished all the food on your plate, wait ten minutes before going back for seconds. This will give your body time to recognize whether it’s actually still hungry.

4. Fill your plate strategically.

Rather than piling food onto your plate willy-nilly, go in with a game plan. Aim to fill ½ of your plate with vegetables or salad, ¼ of your plate with lean protein, and the remaining ¼ with a healthy carb or whole grain.

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5 Comments on "How To Lose Weight With Portion Control"

  1. norma  January 1, 2016

    Thanks for this article. I have a lot of trouble sticking to small portions. I portion out my food and eat it. Then I go back for seconds and thirds. My stomach does not recognize that a small portion is all I need! In my youth, I would simply eat my meal and go on to other activities. Now, as a mother, I must stay in the kitchen, cooking for others and cleaning up. It seems 75 percent of my time is in the kitchen. I appreciate your ideas for better thinking and attitudes about food.

  2. Sophia  March 22, 2016

    Really helpful article ☺However, just a friendly suggestion that if there was an actual picture of dishes with portions of the different foods this would be really helpful in getting a better idea of how much one should eat. I think people including myself could visualize it better. Thanks

    • SkinnyMs.  March 24, 2016

      Thanks for the feedback, Sophia. We’ll look into producing a real-life image.

  3. rahma  April 15, 2017

    I am asking about the firt point
    You mean i can have all these amount at once but i cant eat any one of them more than the spicifc amount of it?
    That is mean if i decided to eat just fish i can’t eat more than a checkbook amount otherwise it will cause fat… right?

    • Gale Compton  April 15, 2017

      Use your best judgement when deciding what size portions to eat.


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