Tips for Portion Control

We overeat to the tune of 500 calories a day. That was not the case 30 years ago. So, no wonder there is an obesity problem out there.

So where are these extra calories coming from? Fast food and sweetened drinks is the answer, as well as increased portion sizes.

Respond With Moderate Sized portions

There are five tips which will help you to get control of the portions you eat. Once you are eating realistic portions, you will be able to enjoy your favourite foods without feeling guilty and be able to maintain a healthy weight.

1. Measure

Should you wish to know the quantities you are eating, bring out the weighing scales. Pour an average bowl of breakfast cereal and then measure the amount you have put in the bowl. Compare what you have placed in the bowl with the amount per serving listed on the cereal box. Adjust the amount you have placed in your bowl accordingly. You can do this for everything you eat, and then you will get an idea of exactly what changes you need to introduce.

2. Buy Calorie-Apportioned foods

You have several new snacks which are portioned at 100-calories per snack. There is no need to work out the precise number of biscuits per serving. You can scoff the entire bag and feel chuffed as you have only eaten a single serving. You are able to achieve the same thing should you prefer to buy in bulk by pre-portioning your food into single serving-size bags. This may take some time, however, it is worth it in the long term.

4. Reduce the Size of Your Plates and Bowls

Did you know that your average dinner plate used to be 10 inches in diameter 30 years ago and, in most cases now, it is 12 inches? When you measure food portions, measure your plates and bowls. Should they be too big, buy some new, smaller plates to reduce the expanding portions.

Suggested sizes:

  • 10-inch dinner plate
  • 8-inch lunch plate
  • 5.5-ounce cereal or soup bowl
  • 6.5-ounce drinking glass

Diet.co.uk recommends the 'Diet Plate' - a specialised diet tool which has statistically calibrated partitions to corresponding food groups, showing the user exactly how much of each food group they should be consuming at meal times.

5. Use Your Hands

It is not always or possible to measure what you are about to eat. However, your hands are readily available at all times. You can use these comparisons to guess portion sizes when you're eating out or at a friend's house:

  • A woman’s fist is equivalent to a serving of fruit or veg
  • A rounded handful is equivalent of a serving of raw or cooked veg, half a portion of cooked rice or pasta. A rounded handful is also equivalent to a good serving of crisps
  • The palm of your hand is equivalent to three ounces of meat, chicken or fish
  • A tennis ball is equivalent to a portion of ice cream, pasta, potato or rice
  • A CD is the equivalent to a serving of pancake or waffle
  • A thumb tip is equivalent to a teaspoon of butter, margarine or peanut butter
  • Four cubes equate to an ounce of cheese