Nutrition Articles

Control the Crazy Portions

Staring into the Bottomless Plate

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  • Set the table with smaller plates. Since you can’t fit as many servings on your plate, filling the whole plate is no big deal. Smaller dishes also make the food look bigger, which has a proven effect on your level of hunger.
  • Skip seconds and get out the Tupperware.
  • Divide up single serving portions ahead of time, in sealable bags or containers.
  • Read the packaging! Follow the recommended serving size and eat only one.
  • Eat foods that curb hunger: oranges, apples, oatmeal, fish, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.
  • Click here to see a guide for knowing your portions.

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    About The Author

    Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
    Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

    Member Comments

    • Great article and info. Thanks. - 7/24/2013 5:40:48 PM
    • I been thinking of using the child's plate at least they are small and you will not over eat with that - 4/21/2013 8:55:29 AM
    • I bought new plates and bowls through exchanging a gift I got from Xmas. They are perfect for portion control!
      Thank you food channel dishes.
      - 1/17/2012 9:55:14 PM
    • I HAVE A SET OF NEW DISHES I GOT LAST YEAR AND MY PLATES HAVE BEEN USED ABOUT TWO TIMES . I ALWAYS USE THE SAUCER SO I WILL EAT LESS.

      I DO THINK IF ONE OVER EATS A LONG TIME YOUR TUMMY WILL JUST STOP

      GIVING YOU SIGNALS IT IS FULL. IT SEEMS TO LOSE THAT ABILITY ONCE YOU

      OVEREAT FOR AWHILE . PROBABLY ONLY WAY TO GET THAT AGAIN IS TO EAT

      LESS FOR AWHILE ALSO. GOT SAY EACH DAY FOOD IS NOT A REWARD FOOD IS

      NOT A REWARD. EATING IS NOT A RECREATION. - 1/17/2012 1:36:52 AM
    • I have been on spark for a few months now and I haven't got portion control down yet. Still working on it, but not giving up!! Bellamagoo78 has a great ideal and I will use it. The scales I have seen at the store are very exspensive, but I am worth the investment!! - 3/14/2011 7:43:01 PM
    • FATPUP is AWESOME! I'm going to take a leaf out of her book on this one. - 12/17/2010 12:49:22 PM
    • Follow the No S Diet, and you eliminate problems with portion control, without measuring, weighing, tracking, obsessing, and generally increasing food addiction and food OCD. What a HUGE time & calorie saver, and easy way to simplify life in the food department!! See the SparkTeam for more information. - 10/19/2010 12:43:27 AM
    • I have several measuring cups, a digital scale and I use them always. Another thing I have it several plastic plate containers that have 3 sections - 8/9/2010 2:33:10 PM
    • Another trick I've started doing to help me with portion control is when I cook a recipe and it says "serves 4" - I either 1/2 the recipe (as I am single and live alone) or if I make the full recipe, I dish up 4 equal portions and refridgerate the extras for lunches/dinners later in the week. - 7/21/2010 11:48:21 AM
    • portion control is so hard-- When I add up my calories for the day, I know I'm really over a bit, due to portions being larger --I try to allow for that in the day-- - 7/21/2010 11:20:55 AM
    • A couple of years ago, my S.O. and I were picking out dinnerware to put on the wedding registry, and we literally could not find any sets at Target where the dinner plates weren't huge. We finally just picked a set with 11" dinner plates and only use the dinner plates as serving plates. Even the 9" salad plates are kind of large, since they're the rimless type where they just go up at the edge instead of having that 1/2" rim where food shouldn't go.

      Now I'm trying to implement a hint I heard elsewhere, eat in order of importance (to a healthy diet). That is, eat the non-starchy veggies first (like starting with a salad, easy on the dressing), then lean protein, then starchy veggies or fruit, then finally allow yourself to munch on the bread and rich stuff. It's a way of ensuring that you get plenty of vitamins and protein and don't just fill up on empty calories at meals. - 4/18/2010 1:03:42 PM
    • PATTI_LARSON
      Wow! Great article with excellent advice. I'm very bad with portion control. I have no control which is why I'm here! I really appreciate these articles... I'm one of those that has to constantly be reminded of portion size. Thank you. - 4/18/2010 9:21:58 AM
    • SAMANTHAPAYNTR
      when i first started i would cut my meal in half before i even started eating, and that was my allotment and i would take sips of water between every bite so i would stay full. After i did that for a couple of weeks my stomach (literal stomach) started to shrink because i wasn't overloading it with food everyday and now i get hungry on less food!

      I used to be able to eat a good sized salad and then the main coarse and round that off with seconds, but now if i eat a good sized salad i can barely get through half of my main coarse, it's awesome! - 12/17/2009 4:25:24 AM
    • CATHEITE
      Excellent suggestions, thanks!! When eating out, I need to learn to ask for a "doggie bag" at the same time I order my meal, and then actually put half my meal in the container before taking a single bite. I don't do that now, though, because my family doesn't support my healthier habits. To them, I am the oddball, the health "nut." They don't see restaurant portions as a problem, though I do. - 8/1/2009 11:30:39 AM
    • As kids we were asked to clean our plate but I have been trying to watch my portions so that I don't overeat and it seems to be helping!! - 7/21/2009 12:34:49 PM