How to lose weight: 10 tips to help control your portion sizes

Tomato measureing tape

At SportsDadHQ we have begun to focus on small lifestyle changes dads can make to jumpstart weight loss. How to lose weight, is high on many of our agendas. With spring around the corner there will be increased opportunity to get outside, get active and enjoy the freshness of the season.

But we’ll talk about that later. First, it is important to discuss the foundation of your weight loss, diet.

I’m not talking about trendy diet plans or the latest weight loss fads, but simple adjustments you can make to lower your daily caloric intake.

Daily caloric intake is the crux of weight loss. If you are consuming more calories than your body burns on a daily basis, losing weight will be a challenge. Even if you’re eating healthy, achieving results will be difficult unless there is consistency in finding caloric balance.

So where do you start?

The simplest way to reduce your daily caloric intake without going to the extreme of tallying and logging the value of every meal, snack or drink is to practice portion control. Controlling your portions at every meal cultivates good eating habits and can yield great results. As a general rule, if you cut 500 calories from you diet daily, you will lose approximately one pound a week – a potential for significant weight loss annually.

Couple this dieting change with exercise and achieve accelerated results.

Reducing the amount of calories you consume is easy if you make smart choices. To get you started, I’ve listed ten simple tips to control your portion sizes.

  • Understand what a single portion is and stick to it. Become familiar with food labels and use them as a guideline.
  • Eat off smaller plates. This concept is simple – the smaller the plate means limited space for food. And remember, stick to a single plate. If you need to go back for more, replenish your dish with vegetables.
  • Eat portions slowly. This allows your stomach more time to communicate with your brain about how full it is.
  • Buy single cuts of meat to cook. Let your butcher do the work and pre-plan the size of your proteins.
  • Avoid eating while performing other activities (i.e. watching television). Pay attention to your plate.
  • Don’t eat from the bag, box or container. This will help you to stick to your recommended serving sizes.
  • Store leftovers in single serving sized containers. When you pull them out of the refrigerator you will be ready to go.
  • Mitigate the temptation by cleaning out your pantry and removing unhealthy foods.
  • Share meals. Some restaurants’ portion sizes err on the side of generous. If this is the case, split the meal with your partner to cut the calories and the cost. Or, ask for half of your order to be served and package the rest to go.
  • Use simple references to measure portion sizes – a clenched fist equals one cup, the tip of your thumb equals one teaspoon, etc. Further guidelines can be found here.

Bigger portion sizes mean a bigger waistline. Use these tips to help promote improved eating habits without drastically changing the way you plan your meals.

Do you have any portion control tips to add to our list? We would love to hear them.



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  2. amherbert 13 March, 2015 / 11:56 am

    Some great advice there. Am hitting the middle aged spread and getting out of breath far too easy. Time for some changes.

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  5. Hannah Mums' Days 18 March, 2015 / 9:19 pm

    Great tips – I’ve recently started a full on body transformation thing (I wrote about it yesterday) and I’m finding it remarkably easy…mainly because the food isn’t too strict. It’s been a real eye opener to learn about portion control. I was literally eating like a trucker in comparison!!

    Thanks for linking up to #theList

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    • Al Ferguson 21 March, 2015 / 6:46 pm


      Thanks for your comment. We have a group for dads, it’s not ‘losing weight’ specific or indeed sports specific but there are over 650 dads in there so I’m sure someone will be able to help. Here’s the link.

      Other than that, I don’t know of any other forums like you say. If I see one, I will add it to this post though.

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