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Using Portion Control to Lose Weight

Updated on October 20, 2011

Learning to eat less can get you on the right track to attaining your weight loss goals

How Portion Control Works

It is really a great idea to control calorie intake by eating small portions of food throughout the day, and in fact many celebrities are using it like Paris Hilton, Vanessa Hudgens and Lauren Graham. No wonder these celebrities can eat anything they like and still stay slim all the time.

We are discussing about Portion Control diet, and it’s actually not a diet wherein someone dictates what an individual should eat and what’s not. It’s more focused on teaching the individual on how to manage his own way of eating by thoroughly chewing food without finishing the whole serving. In that way, the person can eat what he wants but still cannot eat all he can. And it works for several reasons, in which we will discuss further.

Basically, a person engages in portion control diet by only eating a small portion of a serving size of any food; like having only a few pieces of French fries and few bites of burgers. It may sound like somewhat depriving, but various mechanisms in the body works to promote fullness and satisfaction to food.


1. Quickly promote satiety, with practice
There is a catch when practicing portion control, it needs some practice. An individual should learn to savor food by chewing slowly and thoroughly. And to do that, food must be chewed many times before swallowing. In short, a person should practice to bite less and chew more. Our brain seems to send satiety signals after a set number of done chewing motions, bit similar to a chewing counter. After a set number of chews, the brain emits satiety signals and the person becomes full.

2. The more, the merrier
Having a variety of food and eating with a group during mealtimes are often recommended in portion control diet, just be sure the meal mates have just the same mindset as you are. A group of people can share different dishes, taste and enjoy each and be satiated with satisfaction. Plus, the talk and enjoyment in the group quickly reduces attention to food and therefore each and everyone feels full.
Variety of food in a meal helps a lot in making the belly feel full faster because different textures and tastes are transcribed in the brain as ‘full meal’ and therefore makes it send satiety signals quickly.

3. Better self-satisfaction
People who are on long-term portion control diet will never feel deprived because they can eat anything they want. Unlike other diet programs wherein the participant is either forced to subsist on few items (namely, cabbage, lemons, cookies and kale) or pay horrendous fees for few prepackaged meals, portion control diet gives the individual a lot of independence on what food to eat as long as small portions are observed. There’s no worry regarding forbidden food items.

4. No more exercising like crazy
Portion control diet never mentions exercise as the focus of the program is to instill proper serving portions; however the participant is free to exercise as he pleases. The calorie intake becomes gradually reduced and eventually the person burns calories than he takes in.
In some diets in which participants are forced to work out for long stretches in a day, it is necessary because their diets are still loaded with lots of calories. But it is not right to say that portion control diet do not have to involve exercise; it is still recommended, albeit at moderate paces.

In addition, participants are taught on how to visualize proper meal sizes and divide the plate accordingly. For example, a serving of fruit is compared to a size of tennis ball, meat to a deck of cards and pasta to a size of a palm. In that way, participants will easily learn and remember proper serving portions. If people are concerned with having leftovers after a meal, they can be wrapped and refrigerated for future meals. Or meals can be halved upon order, half for takeout and other half for the meal.


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