Five tips to help you manage portion control

Portion control is a key to maintaining a healthy diet and a lifestyle.

February 14, 2018 - Author: Andrea Aguilar, Michigan State University Extension

An article published by the American Society for Nutrition in 2014, highlighted the relationship between portion sizes and obesity. According to the research study conducted by Barbara Livingstone and Kirsty Pourshahidi from the Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine, United Kingdom, they stated that portion size is a key environmental driver of energy and larger than appropriate portion sizes could increase the risk of weight gain.

Portion control is an important key to maintaining a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, and it does not mean eating very small portions and feeling hungry all the time. Portion control means eating smart while eating fewer calories and still feeling satisfied.

Five easy ways to cut portions and trim calories in your daily routine:
  1. Use smaller serve ware and dish for your snacks and meals. For example, use small bowls for your snack instead of just grabbing from the bag or container. In this way, we have control of the amount of calories and food we are eating.
  2.  In between meals, do not forget to have healthy and low-calorie snacks such as grilled fruits like pineapple, banana, or a sliced apple. Also, popcorn with little or no added salt or butter or rye crackers. You are going to feel satisfied for a longer period with whole grains. Carrots and celery sticks with low-fat dressing are also great snacks.
  3. Drink water right before you eat your meal to prevent overeating. When eating out, ask for a small portion or the kid’s portion size meal. Share your meal or dessert with someone else. Sharing is a great way to easily control your meal portions.
  4. Add vegetables to your meals. Bulking up your meals with veggies is one easy way to cut calories. Spinach and tomatoes, for example, can be used as a sandwich-topper or in a pasta.
  5. Take your time to eat your meals. If you have too many distractions while you are eating, you are not going to feel satisfied at the end of the meal, and you could feel tempted to get another unnecessary serving.

Following these tips are a healthy and easy way to help you achieve a balanced diet.  If you would like to learn more about heathy lifestyles, visit USDA’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.

Tags: dining with diabetes, food & health, msu extension, path, weight management


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