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for anyone who's lost weight mostly by 'portion control'

Teach me? I'm not very good at "limiting" foods, and want to be able to "eat what I want" (in good health of course). I'm just not very mentally able to understand the whole portion control and have so many questions?

1. Eating at resturants/etc. How much of your plate do you usually eat? Take the food home?

2. What if the portion you know is "good for you" still leaves you hungry?

3. Some general portion ideas?

4. Anything where the portion is superfilling and low-cal? [I've tried air popped popcorn, any other ideas?]

Sun. Nov 4, 7:11pm

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Below is a link to, a portion-oriented approach to eating right supported by the American Heart, Cancer and Diabetes Associations. It should answer all your questions.

Hint for dealing with (2) on your list: eat a salad, soup, or a piece of fruit at the beginning of your meals, like an appetizer, so that feelings of satiety will already be kicking in by the time you're halfway through your meal.


Sunday, November 04, 2007, 7:29 PM

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eating out is hard

I don't know about any plan like the pp mentioned, I just do my own thing:

Big breakfast-this is the meal where I get to have things like bacon, hashbrowns, eggs...'bad' breakfast foods.

Medium lunch-a small sandwhich, a big salad, a big bowl of soup, that kind of thing.

Tiny dinner: Mug of soup, medium salad, sometimes just a few raw veggies(they're crunchy, which is more satisfying for me)

Also-do not eat right before bed, those calories have no chance to be burnt off. Stop eating a min. of 3 hrs before you usually sleep.

As far as controling your portions, here are a few things that work for me:

Pre-made, frozen foods-you decide portion when you're making them, so your stomach doesn't do the thinking.

If preparing food fresh, don't taste a thing until you sit down to it. Otherwise(if you're like me) you'll eat as many calories while you're making the meal as are actually in it.

Last, if you still feel hungry, wait about 1/2 an hour. It takes that long for your body to realize it has adequate calories. If you're still hungry, drink a few glasses of water, or have something like a small apple. Don't think of this as depriving yourself, just think of it as giving your stomach a few extra minutes to report.
A good low cal but filling food is brocoli. 1 cup has only 30 cals, but leave me feeling full. It's so low I don't feel guilty if I spice it up with a little light dressing!

As far as eating out, it's hard. If possible, order A la carte, so you don't end up with all those extra cals restaurants like to add(bread, when you only ordered the soup/salad combo, coleslaw, when you only wanted the steak...) Sometimes it's just easiest, and cheapest, to avoid restaurants entirely

Finally, If you feel utterly deprived, it might be time for a break. I plan on eating one meal a week where I ignore my diet. It gives me something to look forward to, and since I have that release, it makes the rest of the week easier. Make it an event, plan it out, enjoy it, then go back to the diet refreshed and(amazing after fast food) Guiltless!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:01 PM

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For home, I'd start with a food scale and a calorie book (that's just my personal preference so I have info handy vs. going online.) Then you can get an idea of portion sizes of foods you regularly eat.

For dining out - I usually eat what I want, but I do naturally stay away from heavy, super high calorie foods like pastas with cream sauce and fried foods. Then if I order an entree I'm pretty good about taking a few bites of each thing and taking home the rest. If it's hard to get through a meal without picking you can always ask for a To Go container and box it up right away. And I've finally realized I don't need the appetizer and the salad and the pre-dinner bread basket. I also try not to go out to eat super hungry. If nothing else I'll have some fruit and a big glass of water before I go.

One thing I noticed recently at a restuarant - I observed a couple, both overweight, hunched over their plates, eating their food without pause. There was no talking, no looking up, nothing but a determination to clean that plate! So, sit back, enjoy your company, converse, and eat slowly! It really does help and you won't leave hungry. And a little hunger pang isn't going to hurt - you'll find they ebb and flow - we don't need to eat every time we feel a pang.

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:01 PM

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hey, this is the pp. I should mention I've lost about 30 lbs using this method.

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:02 PM

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#4 - things that are super filling and low-cal: don't worry if things are SUPER low-calorie, as long as they'll fill you up! I like to have a snack with some protien and fibre, it'll keep you full longer than empty carbs. Fruit (lots of fibre), dairy (protein and some fat), some really high-fibre granola bars (Nature Valley Fibre Source are only 130-140 cals and have 5-6 g of fibre, very filling). Don't give up, all the above tips are great as well!

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:22 PM

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I second the book and scale idea. I had no idea how much a portion of anything was. I am doing WW and they teach great portion control. But, anywhere you learn it will help. And weigh EVERYTHING! One week, I just guessed at it and the scale wasn't happy. If you are still hungry add a little more, but soon your appetite will adjust. Or eat fruits and veggies. Good luck!

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:30 PM

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I definitely agree, keep measuring, don't just do it once. My 1 cup portion of cereal magically changed to almost 2 cups when I rechecked my measuring the other day!

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 10:36 PM

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When you buy things that come in multi-serving containers, portion them out into baggies and put the baggies back into the containers. Then when you want to eat something, you already know what a portion is, and how many calories are in it.

After doing this for a few months, youl'll know what a portion looks like, and you won't have to portion it out right away. But, the main point is, never eat straight from the container, because you can't see how much you're eating.

Get into the practice of eating something small but filling (fiber/protein) when you are a little bit hungry. That way, you don't get to the point of being starving, where a small amount of food won't satisfy. Some examples:

A mini wheat bagel w/ 1T of peanut butter
A slice or two of cheese with some fruit or vegetables
A big leafy salad with a few ounces of chicken and a lite dressing on the side
Stir-fry with frozen veggies and some lemon juice and low-sodium soy sauce (can add meat/tofu for protein)
1 sushi roll made w/ brown rice
A veggie or turkey burger w/ lettuce/tomato/pickles, etc., but no bun

Monday, November 05, 2007, 3:09 PM

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For #1 - try splitting your meal in half immediately, and only eating half. You can also ask for a box early in the dinner and get the 2nd half in the box right away, if you think you'll keep eating cause it tastes good.
For #2 - I agree with other posters - wait 15-20 minutes and see if you are still hungry. If you eat while you cook (like I do), try eating low cal vegies instead of what you are cooking, so you avoid those extra cals and start off dinner not raveneous. My experience is if I don't eat while I cook, then I'm starving at dinner, then wolf down way more in a hurray.
For # 4 - some fillingand low-cal stuff: sugar free yoghurt (40), raw mushrooms, raw or cooked cauliflower, Hard boiled egg. If I'm feeling really hungry at the wrong time, and i know I've already eaten my calories, I also drink miso soup. YOu can get it in instant dry packages. that satisfies my tummy and salt craving.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 3:50 PM

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Another hint - get some colorful small plates and bowls (I love the mismatched stuff you can find at discount stores) and use those instead of full-sized ones. I always use an entire salad plate for my salad and another salad plate for my meal. Setting a lovely, colorful table always cheers me up and makes dinner more of an occasion instead of gobble-and-go thing.

And I agree, measuring is a must! You can't do meaningful portion control if you don't know what a portion is.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 6:21 PM

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My hubby & I have a good trick to limit our eating at restaurants. (especially at ones that charge a "plate splitting fee"). 1 of us will order a "dinner entree" and the other will order a salad or something smaller. We split the entree, but don't get charged a split plate charge because we also order something else.

We eliminate drink calories by drinking water with lemon (sometimes they will give you extra!) and it also saves us anywhere from 3 - 5 dollars a dinner as well. ;-) Or, I will order iced tea with lemon (No sugar or sweetener). Lo cal. tastes good.

Luckily, I LOVE drinking water, so I don't mind not drinking juices or pop (soda).

When it comes to dressings on salads--I always order it on the side.--dip my fork into it and try to use a minimum amount on my salads. Sometimes I will put only redwine vinegar on my salad with a couple of drops of oil or a few grinds of fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt... :-)

If eating salad at a salad bar, fill up with fresh veggies, high-fiber beans, stay away from bacon, eggs, mayo-laden pasta salads, etc... Fill your bowl with the crunchy and crisp fresh veggies...

I also will do the trick of eating an apple (or sometimes 1/2 of a banan) on my way out to eating out--it fills up your tummy a bit, adds fiber to your diet, and helps to keep you from being overly hungry when you get to the restaurant.

If you get bread or rolls, try eating ith unbuttered (and limit yourself!) or peryasp with a dash of olive oil, some pepper and a dash of salt (better for you than butter's saturated fats, but of course, worse than not having any fat on the bread at all.

Another tip-- when at the grocery store where they have food "freebies"--each "bite" of sample food tends to have about 50-100 calories... if you eat a lot of samples, you may end up eating a whole meal's worth of calories!!

A small handful of raw almonds can help to satisfy a craving before eating out... :-)


Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 8:00 PM

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OOPS, perhaps, not peryasp... LOL :-) I guess I should read before posting. :-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 8:03 PM

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I'm a big advocate for Weight Watchers. The focus is portion control. High fiber foods fill you up and keep you full longest. Fiber One has really good granola bars that have 9 grams of fiber. I usually have one with a piece of fruit or 1 cup of grapes for breakfast.

Thursday, November 08, 2007, 12:34 PM

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This may or maynot help.
I was reading about the things out there that you can buy that help with portion control. But at the end suggested that to save money you use disposable plates with 3 sections.
the biggest secion for veggies and one smaller one for meat and the other smaller one for starch I believe it was.
It made sense to me but I still like to go by calories. I find it to be easier. There are no hidden surprises at the end of the day that way.

Thursday, November 08, 2007, 9:53 PM

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By eating high quality foods, my body has automatically wanted to eat less food. No portion control needed, my body is telling me what it needs! But, to start, I would try eating a portion of food the size of your fist (imagine it squished together). Then wait 15 minutes and see if you are still hungry. Then, if you are, eat more. The thing that has helped me most with my weight-loss is always telling myself "you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want-this isn't your last meal!" That seems to keep me on track whenever I'm thinking of going back for seconds.

Friday, November 09, 2007, 11:33 AM

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