Work Out Wednesday: Portion Control Tricks


I refuse to get on the scale this week.

I’ve been sick with a cold since Thursday and haven’t had the energy to do much. If the scale moved in the wrong direction, it might send me over the edge, so I’m just going to skip my weigh in and try to get back on track for next Wednesday.

Even though I didn’t do much in the fitness department this week, I have been experimenting with the foods I eat. More specifically the portions. My Dad used to always caution us not to have “eyes that are bigger than your stomach” and I know that’s something that I struggle with. If I buy a block of cheese, I cut huge slices out of it. If I open a bag of pretzels, the whole thing is gone in one day. So even though the calorie or carb count of something may be low… the amount that I eat cancels out any weight loss benefits.

Sometimes I even shy away from grocery shopping because I feel like my purchases don’t last as long as they should. Of course, grocery shopping is the most cost effective option, so I’ve been trying different solutions to make sure I’m not overeating. Something that’s really worked for me is to get deli slices of cheese and limit myself to one slice when I’m making stuff like eggs or a sandwich.

In New York, there are delis on every corner ready to slice up my favorite meats and cheeses, but I also pick up deli slices at Target.

Using pre-sliced meats and cheeses has helped me balance my calorie intake more effectively and curb some of my overeating habits.

What portion control tricks to you use?

  • rubyredslippers

    Whenever I buy a cereal or a bag of pretzels or something similar, I just immediately portion it all out into ziplock sandwich baggies. It takes just a few minutes, takes up a little more room in the pantry than just the boxes, but totally worth it. In order to eat more than one portion of pretzels, you'd have to ACTIVELY do it. Also, it makes it much easier to grab a snack and put it in my purse so I don't stop somewhere later when I get hungry.

  • Leslie

    This is going to sound weird, but I exercise portion control by having a salad.

    We had Spaghetti and Breadsticks for dinner yesterday. I had one bread stick and a small portion of of spaghetti. I had a larger salad to fill the room in my tummy.

  • Krissey

    well, I started using a mush smaller bowel/plate. So when you do add your food on the plate, it seems like alot but really it's not. :) but my problem is controlling myself from NOT going BACK for seconds lol! smh… its a strugggle.

  • Becca Christensen

    Since your a deli meat and cheese lover – this may help you. When I eat sandwiches now I only use sandwich thins instead of bread. They're smaller which means you can taste the meat and cheese you put on them (even as you reduce the amount you're using) and sandwich thins are only 100 calories where both bread is 200-300 calories for 2 slices.

    Also, I ration out my foods on Sundays. So that they're already in individual containers for the week by serving size. That's really helped me!

    I count calories – and in 6 months I've lost 50 lbs. So portion control is def where it's at! : ]


  • Je m’appelle Danielle

    I add a bunch of vegetables to any dish I am making. Like when I make pasta, I still use a serving size, 1/2 cup dry, but will add as many vegetables to the sauce as possible.

    Its kind of tricking your eyes, and your also full.

  • joey

    Hi, I'm a huge (figuratively and literally) fan of yours!

    I try to eat slowly and take gulps of water in between so I get full faster. =)

  • Vanessa

    I'm so glad that you're blogging about this! You inspired me to kick start my weight loss :-). I'm limiting my portions by thinking about what I would normally serve myself and then only serving 1/2 or 3/4. I also talk myself down from how hungry I may seem to how hungry I really am, it makes a difference!

    So many great ideas in the comments!

  • The K-Spot

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Keep up the good work…if you're not too busy check me out at

  • Cindy

    For the last year I’ve been working with a weight loss coach, she’s a life coach who specializes weight loss. For a year now I’ve been learning to listen / tune into my body so that I can recognize when I am truly hungry (not eating because I’m bored or lonely or whatever) and also how to recognize when I have eaten enough to be comfortably satisfied, how to fuel my body. I know it’s very different to the traditional approach to portion control, but the body doesn’t lie, we just don’t always listen to it. I have learned a lot about myself, while learning to listening to my body after years of white-knuckle dieting. BTW, great blog!!

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  • Danielle

    The food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons are my friends when I’m at home. Using measuring devices, for me, is the most objective way to ensure that I’m portioning my food appropriately. For example, you can get your favorite kind of cheese in a big block, and cut and store 1-oz portions in ziploc bags. (I’m DIY about a lot of my food preparation, but I agree that there are plenty of things you can buy from the store that are pre-portioned.)

    I’ve gotten used to diligently measuring my food over the past few years, and I’m better at eyeballing appropriate portions now–when I’m being as objective as possible and not letting my emotions take the lead on how much I eat. That’s the challenge for me!

    I think the key is to find the portion control method that enables you to be as objective as possible, and that you have to be as honest with yourself as possible about using it.

    When I’m eating out, I generally try to eat accordingly earlier in the day or week to be able to splurge a bit. (I don’t want to be the person with a slew of questions for the waiter and a long list substitutions–I want to enjoy myself!) And if I’m served a big portion, I don’t necessarily eat everything–or take any leftovers home.