4 ways To Master Your Understanding Of Portion Control For Weight Loss!

Portion Control for Weight Loss

Losing weight can be hard. You constantly have people telling you, just eat less, it’s not that hard. Then, when you try that, you don’t lose weight, you struggle with motivation, and then go back to the original habits that got you there in the first place.

When you begin to learn about portion control and how you should be serving up your plate with food, this problem essentially goes away. You’re eating more of the healthy foods you should be, and less of those that you shouldnt!

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Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Andrew Blakey

This article was written by Amy Arno, a certified holistic nutritionist, and owner of the blog A Dog and a Life. She is specialized in helping men and women get on a path to eating healthy, losing weight, and living a life they love. Check out her website for more tips on how to start living a healthier life at adogandalife.com or on Instagram @adogandalife


Portion Control For Weight Loss

Portion control can be a scary term. At least it was for me when I first started trying to portion out my foods. I was very lost at how exactly to portion my foods. I had so many printables pinned to my fridge telling me how many cups, teaspoons, or ounces I was supposed to have. It became so overwhelming because there were foods that I made that just wouldn’t fit in a measuring cup so I always questioned if it was the right size or not. Nor did I own or even think about buying a food scale. Portion control is something many people struggle with.

Portions vs Serving Size
Portion control is something we all struggle with though, so don’t feel alone. It’s hard to get the right amounts when we’re trying to eat healthier and feel better about our food choices. But here’s something to keep in mind, knowing the difference between serving size and portion size. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, serving size is “quantities that people typically consume, such as on a Nutrition Facts label” and portion size is “the amount of food you choose to eat – which may be more or less than a serving.” Since we all differ in caloric intake and body size. Someone who works out and lifts a lot of weights will have a bigger serving size than someone who sits at a desk all day long. Men and women also differ in portion sizes as well. Men will typically need a larger portion size compared to women because of the build of their bodies. But how do you measure portion sizes without relying on measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale?

Benefits of Learning About Portion Control

Eating and measuring out the right portion sizes will not only benefit you in losing weight, and controlling weight gain, but it will also help you figure out how much food you need to stay satiated and full.

Portion Sizes

A clenched fist or the size of a baseball

  • Measures about 1 cup

  • Use this for measuring vegetables (raw or cooked) and real fruit (not dried).

  • Men will typically need two servings, women only one


Finger part of a clenched fist or a tennis ball

  • Measures about ½ cup

  • Use this for measuring higher carb foods such as cooked pastas and oatmeal

  • Men will typically need two servings, women only one

Your Fingertip

  • Measures about 1 teaspoon

  • Use this for measuring oils, seasonings, and butters

  • Men will typically need two servings, women only one

Size of thumb

  • Measures to about 1 tablespoon

  • Use this for measuring nut butters and hard cheeses

  • Men will typically need two servings, women only one

Palm of hand

  • Measures to about 3 or 4 ounces

  • Use this for measuring lean proteins such as meat, fish, and poultry

  • Men will typically need two servings, women only one

Best ways to practice portion control:


Use smaller plates and bowls when eating at home.

Eating off smaller plates and bowls will help reduce how much you eat and help you to manage your portion control habits. We tend to want to fill our plates because it’s visually appealing, so decreasing the size will still help you fill up your plate but it’ll be smaller portion sizes. But, avoid piling your plate high with food, start small. You can always go back for more if you still feel hungry after the first plate.

Always eat from a plate or bowl.

When buying prepackaged food, transfer the food to a smaller size plate or bowl as well and save the rest for leftovers.

Eating At A Restaurant

If eating out at a restaurant, ask the server to put half the food in a to-go box so you limit the amount of food you’re eating. You’ll be happy to have the delicious food for leftovers the next day and you’ll feel better knowing you don’t have to unbutton your pants just to walk out of the restaurant.

Use the 50/25/25 rule For Your Plate

  • 50 percent cruciferous vegetables and salad

  • 25 percent lean protein

  • 25 percent starchy vegetables or carb

Like I said, learning about portion control rules and advice can be time consuming but I promise it will be worth it. If you’re someone who creates a full meal that you think is healthy and then when you put it into your calorie tracking app, realize that it’s not nearly as healthy as you thought – follow the advice in this article and begin changing your life!

Amy Arno.jpg

Thanks again to Amy Arno for writing this article, Amy is a certified holistic nutritionist and contributes by writing awesome nutrition related articles and practicing her teachings!

Check her out at Adogandalife or on instagram at @adogandalife

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