Easy Portion Control Strategies

salmon entree on toast - portion control

Sometimes it’s helpful to return to KISS: Keep It Simple – Strategies. When weight loss and maintenance becomes overly complicated and burdensome, it’s time to get back to basics. Fortunately there are numerous simple techniques that are low cost or no cost, both in terms of effort and finances. It should also go without saying that if you consume less, it can free up monetary resources that you might want to spend on – let’s say – a vacation, more outings or toys you enjoy … or something else fun!

Here are a handful of articles that make the dreaded P.C. (Portion Control) actually fun, and certainly a lot simpler, if not easy. Some of the ideas that help with this be-good-to-yourself strategy are noted below each:

5 Strategies for Effortless Portion Control

  • Stay hydrated – Drink another glass of pure water a day and notice that you’re more satisfied
  • Stay active – Push off the office chair or couch a bit more often; note the pleasant benefits
  • Smaller plates – Instead of dinner plates, try those smaller ones (after drinking a glass of water to start)
  • Snack-sized bags (rather than ‘super-sized’ ones)
  • More veggies, please!
  • Keep a food diary (note which healthy alternatives you enjoy and slightly emphasize those)
  • Make home-cooked or home-prepped meals seem more like dining out … besides you control the ingredients at home and don’t have to explain to the chef your dietary preferences 🙂
  • Table it! Try eating at the table instead of in front of the ‘tube’ (or screens of all sorts) more often to eat more consciously … which can lead to …
  • Slower savored bites
  • Enjoy a good conversation with family and friends while eating … If you get immersed in meaningful dialogue you might sail past pangs and let your appestat catch up to you!


  • 1 serving of fruits or vegetables = size of a baseball (not a softball) or the size of a woman’s fist
  • 1/2 cup cooked or raw veggies = rounded handful
  • 3 ounces of chicken or meat = size of a deck of cards or a standard bar of soap
  • 1 small russet potato = size of a computer mouse
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit or nuts = size of a large egg
  • 1 cup of cereal = size of a woman’s fist
  • 1 ½ ounces cheese = 4 dice stacked together

10 Top Secrets of Portion Control

  • Divide your plate into fruits/veggies and protein/starch; strive for equality rather than heavily weighted (pun intended) toward the stuff that weighs you down
  • Pre-portion treats; rather than denial, try a satisfying sample that melts in your mouth… like a 1″ square of your favorite dark chocolate after dinner
  • Keep healthy snacks most visible; counter-top jars can have bite-size portions of items that promote your health and well-being… How about 3 pistachios or almonds or cashews? Make a game of counting to 3 and then leaving the kitchen until the next meal.
  • Don’t buy foods for guests that you wouldn’t eat yourself; find out where the overlap is and avoid post-visit additions to your lap 🙂
  • Make the healthy choices easy; prepare oversized amounts of items like salads, veggie platters, etc. When the 4 pieces of fudge are gone and all is left is carrots and celery, pig out! 🙂
  • Cut Up Food Before Eating … It looks bigger!

Need a little science to back you up? Here’s an article for you: What is the role of portion control in weight management?

Happy mindful eating!


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