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Desize Me - Diets that Work by Reducing Portion Sizes - Only Eat the Better Half

Updated on November 15, 2016
janderson99 profile image

Dr John uses his Biochemistry & Physiology research background (PhD) to develop authoritative reviews of dieting, weight loss, obesity, food

Losing weight is very hard to do, especially long term. It is sad and frustrating that only about 20% of people who begin a diet and lose weight, manage to keep to their target weight for 12 months and only about 10% keep the weight off permanently.

The major problem is that dieting is done short-term. It works for a while, but the causes of obesity and weight gain are due to lifestyles and eating patterns and behavioral in the long term. Once the dieting stops, and people revert to their normal eating and habits, the weight gain start afresh.

Dieting has to involve permanent gradual changes in lifestyle and adoption of new eating patterns that are very easy to follow and maintain - Eat Less and Exercise More. It has to be a permanent sustained change.

Many people end up permanently on diets and end up miserable for years, but they don't lose weight because they don’t change their lifestyles. Permanent Weight Loss requires permanent changes in lifestyle not temporary diets

The best way to do lose weight is by reducing portion sizes and intermittent fasting – Eat less Calories.

Only Eat the Better Half - Halve what you eat and eliminate the poor quality parts of your diet.

Track Daily Calorie Deficit to Guarantee a Weight Loss Program


We each more Often, Eat more Snacks Food and Drink and Eat Bigger Portions (Upsize Me)

A recent study reported that in the USA the average calorie intake per day for adults increased by a whopping 570 calories over a 25-year period. Most of the extra food eaten and extra calories consumed was due to 'snacking'. There were major increases in the number of drinking and eating sessions throughout the day and increases in portion sizes as well. People are eating more often, eating bigger meals and eating more snacks.

The annual daily calorie intake for adults in America rose by about 30 Calories (kcal) per day, per year over the 30 years from 1977 to 2006.

  • The largest cause of this change was the increase in the Number of Eating Sessions, this accounted for about and extra 22 kcal (70%). The average number of eating sessions increased from about 3 1/2 per day to 5 per day.
  • Larger Portion Size accounted for an extra 10 kcal (30%).
  • The Energy Density of the meal portions consumed actually decreased, accounting for a decline of about 4 kcal.

The conclusion from the study is that people simply eat too much. The secret to losing weight are reducing portion sizes and reducing the number of meals and snacks consumed.

Weight Problems and Obesity Increasing Alarmingly Despite Billions being Spent on Weight Control Programs

Government Weight Loss Programs throughout the world are not Working. We don’t Know Why?

The frequency of obesity in America is alarmingly high, exceeding one third of people in most sex and age groups. The US has the record for the highest obesity level in the OECD.

Obesity overweight rates have risen steadily since the 1980s in both women and men. If the trend continues, 75% of the population will be obese or overweight within 10 years.

Half of all Canadians who are over 40 of age will be obese in 25 years.

The rates of childhood obesity rates are extremely high and are clearly a tradgedy for health and self-esteem. Almost half of all children in American children are overweight, and nearly one quarter are obese. The obesity rate trends have declined in the last 10 years, but they are still far too high.

Obesity is predicted to overtake smoking as the major cause of preventable illnesses and death in the next few years imposing a tremendous burden on Government health programs and budgets.

The alarming increase in obesity rates worldwide has clearly demonstrated that trying to get people to eat the Right Foods is the Wrong Advice. Government Weight Loss programs and strategies are clearly not working.

The government programs such as Mypyramid and Myplate are meant to be strategies for weight loss, BUT these programs don't offer specific weight-loss plans, they merely give nutrition suggestions about the number of serving of various types of food to eat. These programs are NOT strategies for successfully losing weight. To quote from the 2010 US "Dietary Guidelines for Americans"

Exercise Helps but won't work for weight loss if you don't eat less

You only have to look at the calories burnt via exercise to see that exercise itself will not help much in losing weight.

Voluntary Programs by the Food Industry have been a Dismal Failure

In Australia research has shown that junk food advertising during the time when most children watched television actually increased after self-regulation was introduced.

Stomach band surgery works but it is expensive and risky

What has worked for those who have lost weight and kept it off?

A study of more than 75,000 women who were surveyed in 1982 and again in 1992 was designed to examine the association between weight and various food choices and behaviour.

This study showed that:

  • Over the ten year period weight increase ( body mass index) was associated with the amount of meat consumption and stopping smoking.
  • Weight loss over the 10 year period was associated with vegetable consumption, vitamin E supplements, continued smoking, and vigorous exercise such as jogging and running.
  • Body mass index decreased with walking 4 or more hours per week, especially in women

Another study of National Weight Control Registry members showed that losing weight and maintaining reduced weight levels is possible for several years. To qualify for the registry all dieters had to show that they had lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for at least 12 months.

The study showed that the subjects lost an average of about 30 kg or more over the 5 year period. The strategies that were shown to help to keep the weight off were:

  • physical activity for about 45-60 minutes a day
  • eating a low-fat diet, with emphasis on eating low-calorie meals at regular times,
  • eating some breakfast every day,
  • tracking weight and weight loss regularly
  • keeping to a regular and unchanged eating pattern on both weekdays and weekends.
  • Strictly following the set of exercise and diet strategies, leading to permanent lifestyle changes
  • managing depression and mood changes likely to cause binge eating


While the strategies mentioned work - they work for only a small number of people. Why?

  • Traditional dieting methods involve counting calories, keep track of everything we eat and working out the calorie count, amount of sugar and fat etc., and eating strange foods that we normally don't eat - the diet foods. Many diets are simply unpleasant.
  • Most diets are unnatural and so unrealistic that they can never lead to lifestyle and food plans that can be maintained after people have lost weight. People lose control drop the diet and put all the weight back on again.
  • If your weight loss and maintenance program is to succeed is must be pleasurable and not hamper your normal behaviour such as eating out or having a dinner party.

The key to success is Portion control - Only Eat the Better Half

© janderson99-HubPages

This strategy progresses naturally from the diet to eating less and changing your way of life Eat Less and Become Fitter and Healthier.

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Reena J 5 years ago

    good informative hub...Individuals when like to lose weight they should follow the schedule of exercises and should have good control in the intake...

  • wicked_lover profile image

    wicked_lover 5 years ago from New England

    Losing weight is very hard especially long term.

    The first sentence in this informative Hub. My initial response to that sentence was ... If one believes it is very hard to lose weight, especially long-term, than it WILL be hard for them.

    I am of the mindset that, if we believe something to be true, then it becomes true for us. I also believe that the thoughts and beliefs people have about food and about themselves, makes a huge difference in their looks and in their weight-loss. I completely agree that making good choices when it comes to the food I eat, and cutting my portion sizes in half along with regular exercise is the key to shedding those extra pounds. I also believe that changing my thought process is key as well. Now this is a work in progress, I'll admit. I've been working with positive thought and affirmations in other areas of my Life and just recently started applying it to my physical appearance, health and new life-style.

    As far as exercise goes ... one must enjoy it. If I or you or anyone else who is looking to shed those pounds is doing a certain exercise they don't like, thinking they have to because they will lose weight is kidding themselves. It won't work. One must find that exercise that they enjoy and look forward to and have fun while doing it.

    To end, I will say that your Hub was a great read and gave me a boost to keep going! I have chosen a healthier life-style and I am going to stick to it! My scale has already started a downward movement and that is a very good thing!

  • cowtowngirl77 profile image

    cowtowngirl77 5 years ago

    Dieting is difficult. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose and plan to do it lifelong. But it is important to be positive and keep your eye on the prize.

  • wicked_lover profile image

    wicked_lover 5 years ago from New England

    I recently uploaded a calorie count app to my cellphone. What I found from tracking my food intake over several days, is that most of my calories went to snacking. Wow. And it was snacking I was trying to control. I can't imagine what the cound would be if I was snacking like I was a month or so ago.

  • American_Choices profile image

    American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

    Excellent! I commend on you an outstanding job. Well written with great graphs and information.

    I feel the best thing the government could do is mandate single size snack portions. I was not in favor of the ban on the large sweet drinks in NYC, I am in favor of offering choices. Americans should not have to buy three times the amount they need just to increase the revenue and the profit. Smaller snack sizes should be made available when traveling. Gas stations frustrate me. I am hungry, don't wish to stop for fast food so I try to pick something up and everything is 3 serving sizes or more.

    I am now housing each of my vehicles with coolers for drinks and snacks - in the right sizes - saves me time and money and helps my waistline.

  • BizVT34 profile image

    BizVT34 4 years ago from USA

    Good article with lots of good info. The formula is easy, the execution is difficult. ....and learning all that, wow! Try this - for 30 days don't eat anything, at any time, that you didn't own before it was cooked or processed. No calorie counting, no portion control. Tomatos, yes...ketchup get the idea. 2 things will happen, you'll lose weight and save money.

  • Monis Mas profile image

    Aga 4 years ago

    Very good! I am trying to cut my meals in a half, reduce portions, we will see what happens!

  • profile image

    ValerieAbad 3 years ago

    Smaller plate sizes can help. people like variety and there's just too much of it nowadays

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    The only thing that works well for me is counting calories and exercise. I keep a journal of everything I eat. It's surprising how fast those calories add up. Thanks for following me, the fan mail and this excellent hub. I'm a fan!

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Excellent hub!

    I agree and I am sure reducing the quantity or portion works and one does not feel deprived. Interesting title!

    Well written and well researched hub! Voted up and pinned!

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Supersize me is probably the biggest hurdle that Americans face when trying to maintain or lose weight. When you can get twice as much for only a few pennies more, the economy of the purchase is hard to resist. I agree that portion control is the key to maintaining weight and your comparison of the hamburger from years ago to today's offering says a lot.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i usually eat 4-5 times a day but small portion each time.

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    We do healthy but we still have to reduce the portions. Our daughter in-law is really good at serving individual portions to her family. Discipline is, of course, key.

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