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Portion Control For Weight Loss


To lose weight, you need to understand how to control your portions.

When you overeat, it’s not just the food that contributes to weight gain – it’s also the calories that are burned up in the process of digesting and absorbing the food.

To prevent yourself from overindulging, try these tips for portion control.

All About Portion Control For Weight Loss

Different Types of Portion Control

Portion control is a popular[1] way to lose weight, but it’s essential to understand the different types of portion control to make the most effective choices for your dietary needs. The following are different types of portion control-

  1. Nutritional Approach

    This type of portion control focuses on eating nutrient-rich foods in moderate amounts. A healthy nutritional approach can help you maintain weight and avoid unhealthy weight gain.

  2. Energy Balance Approach

    This type of portion control focuses on controlling how much energy you consume. Consuming smaller quantities of high-energy foods can help you stay motivated throughout the day.

  3. Glycemic Index (GI)

    This concept is based on the belief that some foods are more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels than others. Foods with a high GI are often considered bad for your health, but they can also be a powerful tool for controlling your portion size.

  4. Satiety Index

    This measurement considers both the calorie and protein content of foods. Foods with a high satiety index are less likely to cause cravings later in the day.

How To Properly Measure Food

One of the most critical steps in losing weight is learning to measure your food properly.

By measuring your food correctly, you will be able to track your progress and ensure that you are consuming the right amount of calories and nutrients.

Here are some tips on how to measure food:

  • Use A Mug Or Bowl Instead Of A Measuring Spoon– This will help you to portion out your food more[2] accurately.
  • Make Sure That Your Measuring Appliances Are Neat– If they are not, wash them with soap and water before using them to measure food.
  • Measure Your Food– This will help you to lose weight and maintain your new healthy habits for the long term.
  • Eat Slowly And Deliberately– Eating quickly often leads to overeating and mindless eating. Try to take at least 30 minutes to eat a meal and eat one or two bites at a time.
    Resist the urge to shovel food in your mouth quickly – this will only lead to overeating and potential weight gain.
  • Use Smaller Plates And Bowls– When served food on a plate or bowl that’s too large, it’s easy to overeat because you have more room for temptation.
    Try using smaller plates or bowls instead to see how much food you’re eating. The shape of plates and sizes influences[3] the amount of food intake.

The Importance Of Nutritional Guidelines

When it comes to weight loss, portion control is critical.

This study shows[4] that those people who followed a healthy diet and exercised in moderate amounts lost more weight than people who didn’t adjust their diet, regardless of the amount of exercise.

Following a healthy diet for weight loss could be considered[5] an effective way towards reaching closer to your weight loss goals. Including leafy greens, fruits like oranges, and apples in your diet could be effective.

It is also important to be aware of your caloric intake. According to this study, the number one way[6] to maintain weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn.

Remember, whatever you eat will add up over time, so be sure to keep track of how many calories you are eating each day and make sure most of them are from nutritious foods.

Nutritional Guidelines For Weight Loss

  1. The Effects of Portion Size

    The effects of portion size on weight loss are complex and have been the subject of much debate.

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to portion control, as the best way to achieve weight loss depends on your body composition and dietary preferences.

    However, following a portion-controlled diet is a good starting point for people seeking to lose weight.

    A good quality high protein diet could aid[7] in managing obesity and better weight management. The study also suggests that a high protein diet increases satiety and improves cardiometabolic risk factors.

    There are several ways to measure how much protein, fat, and carbs you eat daily.

    One easy way is to be mindful when eating a snack through the package. The container size effects [8] the amount of food you intake.

    Another option is keeping a food diary[9] in which you record everything you eat and drink over a week. Either way is acceptable, as long as you’re honest about what you’re eating.

  2. How to Make Healthy Choices When Eating Out

    When eating out, it’s essential to be mindful of your portion size.

    That means being attentive to how much food you’re putting in your mouth and not overeating. Here are some tips for keeping your portion control in check when dining out:

    • Stick to appetizers and small plates- This way, you’ll have less temptation to order full meals or supersized portions.
    • Order lean protein and vegetables over processed foods and carbs– These foods will help keep your calorie count under control while also providing essential nutrients.
    • Drink plenty of water before and during your meal– This will help[10] you stay hydrated and avoid overeating or crashing later on.
    • Avoid eating while watching TV, movies, or scrolling through social media sites– These activities can lead to mindless eating and weight gain.
  3. Tips For Eating Healthy On The Go

    Since we all know that dieting isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s helpful to have a few tricks up our sleeves when controlling our portions. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track while on the go:

    • Plan your meals ahead of time– This can be especially helpful if you get overwhelmed and eat out a lot. Planning your meals will help[11] in following a balanced and healthy diet and decrease the chances of obesity.
    • Use smaller plates– One way to cut down on your portions is to use smaller plates. This will help you see how much food you’re eating and help you control how much you eat.
    • Drink water– Another way to reduce your portions is to drink plenty of water. Not only does this help keep you hydrated, but it can also help curb your appetite and prevent you from overeating. Drinking water before a meal could also benefit[10] weight loss.
    • Avoid eating in front of the TV- A Study shows[12] that people consume more calories when watching TV than when they’re not.
      If possible, try to avoid eating in front of the television so that you can stick to healthier snacks.


The essential part of any weight loss program is to create and stick to a sensible portion control plan.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure you are eating the right amount of food while still losing weight.

Not only will this help you reach your goal faster, but it will also keep you healthy and ensure that you stay on track during your weight loss journey.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. B J Rolls1. What is the role of portion control in weight management? Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Jul; 38(Suppl 1): S1–S8. Published online 2014 Jul 25. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.82
  2. Brian Wansink , James E Painter, Jill North. Bottomless bowls: why visual cues of portion size may influence intake Clinical Trial Obes Res. 2005 Jan;13(1):93-100. doi: 10.1038/oby.2005.12. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15761167/
  3. Brian Wansink. From mindless eating to mindlessly eating better. Review Physiol Behav. 2010 Jul 14;100(5):454-63.doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.05.003. Epub 2010 May 12. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20470810/
  4. Damon L. Swift, Ph.D., Neil M. Johannsen, Ph.D., Carl J. Lavie, M.D., et al. The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Jan-Feb; 56(4): 441–447. Published online 2013 Oct 11. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2013.09.012
  5. Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html
  6. Eva V. Osilla; Anthony O. Safadi; Sandeep Sharma. Calories. Last Update: September 15, 2021. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499909/
  7. Heather J Leidy , Peter M Clifton , Arne Astrup, et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jun;101(6):1320S-1329S.doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084038. Epub 2015 Apr 29. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25926512/
  8. David Marchiori , Olivier Corneille, Olivier Klein. Container size influences snack food intake independently of portion size. Randomized Controlled Trial. Appetite. 2012 Jun;58(3):814-7.doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.01.015. Epub 2012 Jan 28. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22306436/
  9. Why keep a food diary? Available from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-keep-a-food-diary-2019013115855
  10. Elizabeth A Dennis, Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L Comber, et al. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.235. Epub 2009 Aug 6. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661958/
  11. Pauline Ducrot, Caroline Méjean,1 Vani Aroumougame, et al. Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017; 14: 12. Published online 2017 Feb 2. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7
  12. Utsa Mathur and Richard J. Stevenson. Television and eating: repetition enhances food intake. Front Psychol. 2015; 6: 1657. Published online 2015 Nov 3. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01657

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